SUDAN: FULL HUMANITARIAN ACCESS TO KALMA CAMP MUST BE RESUMED

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 13 Aug 2010
(Khartoum/New York, 13 August 2010): Constraints on access which have prevented aid agencies from accessing 82,000 displaced people at Kalma camp and surrounding areas in South Darfur since 2 August must be lifted, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said today.

Following recent incidents of violence in the camp, five international NGOs and UN humanitarian agencies which have humanitarian programmes in Kalma are still being prevented from entering the camp by local authorities on the ground, despite recent reassurances that such restrictions had not been imposed. The main areas of assistance required by the IDPs are food, water and sanitation, health, nutritional support, shelter and non-food items. UN agencies and NGOs are prepared to resume humanitarian operations immediately.

"I am extremely concerned about the welfare of the IDPs at Kalma camp, to whom we have not been able to deliver relief for 13 days," said Mr. Holmes. "Deliveries of food and fuel for water pumps have for example not been possible. Sanitation is also a major concern as it is the middle of the rainy season. Many thousands of IDPs from Kalma remain unaccounted for. We need immediate access so we can respond to the needs and conditions of those remaining there. We also need to find out how many people have left, and where they have gone, in order to provide relief to them too."

Constraints on aid agencies operating in the Darfur region of Sudan have been steadily increasing since March 2009, when 11 international NGOs were expelled from Darfur. Two International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff were also expelled on 17 July 2010. In addition to the obstruction of aid efforts at Kalma camp, approximately 100,000 people affected by fighting in the Eastern Jebel Marra region have been unreachable since February.

Humanitarian personnel and assets in Darfur also continue to be regular targets of violence. A trend of abductions of humanitarian workers which started last year is particularly alarming. One humanitarian worker who was kidnapped on 18 May remains in captivity in South Darfur. None of the perpetrators of these attacks have been charged.

"The United Nations has been in close contact with the relevant Sudanese authorities to restore access to both Kalma and Eastern Jebel Marra, but until today progress has not been forthcoming," said Mr. Holmes. "If access is not urgently restored, the situation risks deteriorating rapidly."

For further information, please call: OCHA-New York: Stephanie Bunker, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 347 244 2106, bunker@un.org; Nicholas Reader +1 212 963 4961, mobile +1 646 752 3117, reader@un.org OCHA-Geneva: Elisabeth Byrs,+41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570, byrs@un.org.

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