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£10,000 for Sudan 22 July 2004

The Isle of Man Overseas Aid Committee of the Council of Ministers has responded to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Darfur (Sudan) with a donation of £10,000 to Oxfam. The Committee has previously given £10,000 to support the work of UNICEF in this area.

Referred to by the UN as 'the world's worst humanitarian crisis' this area is now the subject of the Disaster Emergency Committee's (DEC) 50th National Appeal (of which Oxfam is a partner).

Overseas Aid Committee chairman George Waft MLC said:

"The Committee welcomes the DEC appeal as long overdue. Although the Committee has donated significant funds to this crisis it will maintain its monitoring of the situation, which has not been helped by the proliferation of small arms in the area. The Committee also welcomes the ongoing diplomatic pressure in this area and hopes for a quick resolution of this conflict by peaceable means."

In receiving notification of the grant an Oxfam spokesperson commented:

"Oxfam is delighted that the Isle of Man Overseas Aid Committee members have, once again, been able to support Oxfam's emergency work with a donation of £10,000. This support will help provide those fleeing the violence in Sudan and eastern Chad with shelter, clean water and sanitation. It will also provide emergency food aid and basic items such as water buckets, blankets and soap."

Fighting has broken out between two factions in the area - on one side the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and on the other the Government of Sudan and the Government sponsored 'Janjaweed' Arab militia. This has lead to the mass displacement of refugees with over 1 million forced from their homes, 200,000 of which have moved across the border into eastern Chad. This has received little coverage until now, as media agencies have been unable to enter the region.

There are ongoing reports of ethnic cleansing, massacres and mass rapes. Further reports tell of severe malnutrition and dehydration as the various aid agencies struggle to deliver humanitarian supplies through roads made impassable by rain. These rains are also leading to severe sanitation problems within the refugee camps, with the spread of Cholera and Diarrhoea a real possibility.

The already overloaded camps are still receiving thousands of refugees daily with many already holding twice the planned for population.

Funding given to Oxfam by the Committee will help with the provision of humanitarian supplies to refugees living in these camps. It will help with the provision of essentials such as wells, latrines, water containers and blankets.

Due to the increasing severity of this humanitarian crisis the DEC has launched an appeal for funds. Contributions can be made via:

  • the website at www.dec.org.uk
  • over the phone on 0870 60 60 900
  • by cheque posted to DEC Sudan Emergency, PO Box 999, London EC3

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