AMMAN / KHARTOUM, 26 April 2004 – The temporary ceasefire in western Sudan is allowing humanitarian aid workers first time access to hundreds of thousands of displaced people who were previously unreachable.
“More than one million people are already affected by this crisis and many more could suffer in the coming months,” said Joanna van Gerpen, the UNICEF Representative in Khartoum. “It is imperative that we take maximum advantage of this window to save as many lives as possible.”
An emergency assessment is underway, but, even as it is being carried out, UNICEF has started immediate relief work. To date, UNICEF has ensured that:
In the coming week, a joint appeal for humanitarian aid will be announced. The fund will be used to provide additional supplies for the people affected by the conflict – many of whom are living in fragile shelters constructed of grass and without roofs. With the onset of the rainy season in June, the potential for outbreaks of disease due to inadequate shelter and crowded living conditions is a serious threat.
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For Additional information on the crisis in Sudan visit the UNICEF site at www.unicef.org
For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 158 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
View video report
Sudan Communication Officer Paula Claycombe spoke to UNICEF's Francis Mead from Northern Darfur.
Audio clip ([mp3]; right-click to download)