|© UNICEF/HQ06-0704/ Cranston|
|On 13 June, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow sits with children at the Zamzam camp for people displaced by conflict near El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur State.|
By Sabine Dolan
NEW YORK, USA, 15 June 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow has just completed a one-week visit to Sudan to highlight the need for further international aid in war-torn Darfur.
“We’ve come to the Darfur region of Sudan with the hope that people will see what is happening here and the need that is here, and the beautiful children that are here,” said the award-winning actress, who was accompanied on the trip by her son Ronan, 17, a UNICEF youth spokesperson.
During her stay, Ms. Farrow met with representatives of both the Sudanese Government and the Sudan Liberation Movement to urge that steps be taken to ensure peace and stability. She also stressed the importance of protecting conflict-affected children.
Visits to camps for the displaced
Ms. Farrow and her son have visited camps for people displaced by violence in Darfur, and witnessing firsthand several projects in the field – including UNICEF-supported feeding centres, demobilization sites for former child soldiers, and HIV/AIDS counselling and testing programmes.
On the second day of the trip, they stopped at a camp for displaced people in an area controlled by the Sudanese Liberation Army in Southern Darfur. There, they heard the horrors that many families and children have experienced.
|On 12 June, a woman and child riding a donkey greet UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow (right), at the Gereida camp for people displaced by the conflict near Nyala, South Darfur.|
“The woman I was speaking to had her child torn from her arms, and that child was killed,” Ms. Farrow said, adding that people in the camp need “food, water, clothes and shelter – and paramount is the issue of protection, because they can’t go back home.”
‘They don’t feel safe’
At every camp visited, the stories were similar.
“I’ve been talking to this group of wonderful, courageous women who have been through a situation that the rest of us can scarcely imagine,” said Ms. Farrow during a stop at Zamzam camp in Northern Darfur. “They spoke of being raped, being driven from their homes, of their children being taken from them, their villages being burned.
“They don’t feel safe to leave the camp,” she added. “They do in this case feel safe within the camp, but they don’t have enough food, really they have nothing. They feel they are almost imprisoned, because there is no security for them to leave.”
The total number of people affected by the conflict in Darfur is now estimated at 3.7 million – including 1.87 million internally displaced people. In the last four months alone, more than 200,000 have been displaced.
Ms. Farrow previously travelled to Darfur for UNICEF in November 2004.
15 June 2006: UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow talks about her visit to Darfur, Sudan. Correspondent Sabine Dolan reports.