Irish humanitarian aid has reached war-weary civilians in Sudan where a major conflict has been raging for half a year displacing over 5.7 million people.
Irish aid organisation Concern Worldwide brought trucks carrying over 35 tonnes of supplies from Chad to West Darfur in the North African country.
The aid supplies, which include blankets, mosquito nets, jerry-cans and soap, were provided with funding from the government’s development agency Irish Aid to help desperate families trying to survive the ongoing conflict.
More than 4 million people in the Darfur region alone in Western Sudan have been displaced since violence broke with over 500,000 fleeing to Chad as refugees.
Getting relief supplies into Darfur with the ongoing conflict is logistically very challenging, but Concern staff said their mission was made possible with the cooperation and support of local authorities on both sides of the Chad-Sudan border.
“Funded by Irish Aid, these trucks of essential relief supplies are a life line to thousands of families in West Darfur,” said Concern’s humanitarian ambassador and interim Sudan country director, Dominic MacSorley.
“People’s lives have been brutally devastated by conflict. Many have had to flee their homes with nothing and many tell of losing their loved ones. They lack the basic needs of food, shelter and water.
“Access to the worst affected areas has been a real challenge and with hunger and disease on the rise assistance is desperately needed.
“Importantly, these supplies also send a message that the world has not forgotten the people of Sudan.”
Over 9,000 people have been killed since this latest conflict in Sudan began on April 15th this year.
Around half the country’s population (24.7 million people) are estimated to be in need of humanitarian aid and protection in the country. This includes over three million children estimated to be acutely malnourished, 621,000 of whom face severe acute malnutrition. These figures are expected to continue rising.
The UN recently described the crisis in Sudan as “one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history” with many horrifying reports of violence and people suffering from hunger and the impacts of conflict.
There has also been a near total collapse of health, food, and economic infrastructure. According to the World Health Organisation, about 65 per cent of the population have no access to health services, and more than 80 per cent of health facilities in conflict areas are not functioning.
When fighting erupted, Concern, which has worked in Sudan for 38 years, temporarily suspended its work for a few days with its 140 Sudanese staff sheltering in their homes or in safer areas.
They resumed their operations and continue to provide health and nutrition treatment along with emergency responses to support people displaced due to the current humanitarian crisis in the country.
For more information or to support Concern’s work visit concern.net
Featured Image: Aid arrives at a location in Darfur this week. Irish aid has reached war-weary civilians in Sudan
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