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Press release

More than 1 million children beyond aid net in Darfur

While those in IDP camps deserve to go home to a safe environment

Khartoum/London/New York, 20 December 2005 – A new report by UNICEF details the impact of conflict on children’s lives in Darfur, almost three years after the violence began.

The key findings of the report are:

  • The economy of Darfur is in steep decline, creating and reinforcing a reliance on humanitarian aid.

  • As a result, conditions are worsening for children who live in areas outside the camps, in communities hitherto not directly affected by the fighting.

  • Low-level violence continues unabated almost daily, creating a climate of fear and further crippling core economic activities.

  • Darfur has become “ghettoed,” with groups from all tribes afraid to move beyond their immediate environments.

Speaking from Khartoum, UNICEF’s representative in Sudan, Ted Chaiban, said that the key to future security for Darfur’s children lies with the current Abuja peace negotiations.

“Relief efforts have significantly improved the overall situation in Darfur since 2004,” said Chaiban. “But persistent instability and political stalemate means that children have little hope for any meaningful future. The participants of the Abuja peace process should think about the best way to secure their children’s future”

Every day more than 3 million children are affected by the ongoing conflict in Darfur. They are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition, illness and violence. An estimated 1.75 million children in displaced persons camps and surrounding towns now have basic social services, largely as a result of humanitarian aid, despite continuing insecurity that plagues their daily lives. In these camps, mortality rates have fallen below the emergency threshold at 0.79 deaths per 10,000 children per day and malnutrition rates have dropped from 21.8 per cent to 11.9 per cent. However an estimated 1.25 million children remain who cannot be reached because of insecurity and their situation remains largely unknown. 

“Darfur’s children deserve the same dividends of peace which children affected by Sudan’s North-South conflict are beginning to see,” said Chaiban. “Success in Abuja is the cornerstone for achieving these dividends.”

The children of Darfur cannot be forgotten.

* * *

The Child Alert Darfur consists of a report and a multimedia presentation that includes a photo essay by Ron Haviv of VII - one of the world's foremost photojournalism agencies.  Please visit https://www.unicef.org/childalert/darfur for the full report, including multimedia features. For reproduction rights to these images, please visit VII Photo Agency at: http://www.viiphoto.com/. Click on 'Contact VII'

For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 157 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, good water and sanitation, 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.

For further information and interviews please contact:
Gaelle Bausson, UNICEF New York: +212-326-7269 gbausson@unicef.org
Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF Khartoum: +249-912—177291, rkhadivi@unicef.org
Anis Salem, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa: +962-6-553-9977, asalem@unicef.org
Damien Personnaz, UNICEF Geneva: +41-79-216-94-01, dpersonnaz@unicef.org
Shima Islam, UNICEF UK Press Office:+44- 20 7-312 7614 shimai@unicef.org.uk

Note to broadcasters: B-roll is available: http://www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef





19 December 2005:
UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports on child malnutrition in Darfur.

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19 December 2005:
UNICEF Darfur representative Ted Chaiban outlines Child Alert findings.

20 December 2005:
Ronan Farrow speaks with UNICEF correspondent Dan Thomas about the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

Related links

Childhood interrupted in Darfur’s refugee camps

Darfur’s children facing food shortages

Ronan Farrow: A prominent voice for Darfur

Darfur: Fact and figures

Darfur: Children facing severe food shortages

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