Sudan

One million people displaced by conflict

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© UNICEF 2004/Chad
Sudanese refugees in Chad

DARFUR, Sudan 3 May 2004 - One million people have been displaced by conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan – many of them struggling in desperate conditions in make-shift refugee camps.  Despite a ceasefire signed earlier this month between the Government of Sudan and two rebel groups, instability continues in Darfur.  During the past year, militia called “Janjaweed” have been implicated in the fighting, raiding, burning, and looting of villages populated by people of African origin.

UNICEF is working hard with other humanitarian agencies to protect children and their families who have been forced to leave their homes with barely the clothes on their backs and hardly any possessions. They face extreme weather conditions with no blankets and no adequate shelter. There is a severe lack of food, water and sanitation.

In early May, UNICEF, along with the Sudanese government and the World Health Organization, is planning to carry out a campaign to immunise all children under fifteen in Darfur’s three states.

As well as drilling new boreholes for water, UNICEF is also planning to repair three hundred handpumps over the next thirty days across Darfur.  With the rainy season due in a few weeks UNICEF is also appealing for equipment to shelter families as conditions worsen.

Since August 2003, approximately 110,000 Sudanese refugees have also crossed the border into eastern Chad. As of mid-April, 26,000 refugees have been moved into five camps in further in the interior of Chad, but about 80,000 remain scattered along the 600 km border. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees anticipates moving a total of 65,000 people to camps before rains begin in June, but the remaining people are a challenge for the humanitarian community to reach.

The refugees have only makeshift shelter and little or no access to food and clean water. The situation of the most vulnerable children and women is particularly critical, with the temperature dropping close to zero degrees Celsius at night. Faced with limited food supplies and unhygienic conditions, most of the refugee children are at dire risk of disease.

UNICEF’s Chad operation is providing emergency health care and nutritional support, as well as assistance with education, water supply and sanitation, and control and prevention of measles outbreak and Vitamin A supplementation.

Thousands have already died as a direct result of conflict and disease.

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Audio

21 April 2004
Sudan Communication Officer Paula Claycombe spoke to UNICEF's Francis Mead from Northern Darfur.
Audio Clip [mp3]

UNICEF in action in Sudan

  • A measles campaign is scheduled to start in early May, targeting all children under 15 years old. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 2.6 million children will be vaccinated during this 10-day campaign. 
  • UNICEF has started a special campaign to rehabilitate 300 water points that will provide access to safe drinking water for 150,000 people in the three Darfur states.
  • 200 boreholes have already been drilled or rehabilitated assisting more than 100,000 persons.
  • Commercially hired water trucks are also delivering water on a regular basis to several outlying areas where displaced families have settled in recent weeks.     

Audio

Listen to this interview with Cyrille Niameogo, UNICEF's Representative in Chad.  He spoke with UNICEF's Francis Mead. This interview is available for downloading and broadcast.
Audio Clip [mp3]

UN appeal

Read the UN Appeal for Chad (external link)

UNICEF in action: UNICEF's appeal

Related links

Read the UNICEF Frontline Diary from Sudan

Tens of thousands of children and women flee brutal attacks in Sudan

Sudan at a glance

Chad at a glance


 

 

View video report

Latest video from Darfur filmed on April 22.

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Audio

27 April 2004: Kathryn Irwin, Communication Officer for UNICEF's UK National Committee speaks with UNICEF correspondent Francis Mead from Sudan.

Audio

21 April 2004
Sudan Communication Officer Paula Claycombe spoke to UNICEF's Francis Mead from Northern Darfur.

UNICEF in action in Sudan

  • A measles campaign is scheduled to start in early May, targeting all children under 15 years old. UNICEF and WHO estimate that 2.6 million children will be vaccinated during this 10-day campaign.
  • UNICEF has started a special campaign to rehabilitate 300 water points that will provide access to safe drinking water for 150,000 people in the three Darfur states.
  • 200 boreholes have already been drilled or rehabilitated assisting more than 100,000 persons. 
  • Commercially hired water trucks are also delivering water on a regular basis to several outlying areas where displaced families have settled in recent weeks.
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