Geneva, April 4, 2001
Civil war, reckless oil exploitations and a severe drought threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan. In response to this crisis, ACT International has issued three appeals for a total of US $ 2.4 million for relief work in southern and western Sudan. ACT members plan to assist the affected people with food, seeds and tools, shelter, mosquito nets, basic education and health care.
The UN's World Food Program (WFP) estimates that some 600,000 people in Sudan are in urgent need of food assistance while a total of 2.9 million people will need assistance to make it through 2001. WFP recently warned of an impending crisis in Sudan if assistance is not delivered in time before Sudan's next rainy season begins in about a month from now.
Prolonged drought and war related displacement are at the root of the problems for most of the more than 130,000 people targeted for relief by ACT members working in Juba in Eastern Equatoria, Bentiu in Upper Nile, Kadugli and Dilling in the Nuba Mountians, Damazin in Blue Nile and Wau in Bahr al Ghazal.
Despite the recent harvest in Sudan, food prices on basic commodities such as sorghum are soaring and have in some areas reached levels three times higher than what would be expected this time of the year. Such price hikes leave commercial food totally out of reach of the poor and destitute.
ACT is a world-wide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.
The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.
A particular case is assistance to displaced in Bentiu in Upper Nile and to people in the Nuba Mountains. Here fighting and raiding motivated by the government's need to clear oil fields and installations of the original population, has led to a particular humanitarian crisis.
If the Sudanese government and its foreign commercial partners continue their strategy of forced displacement from the areas around the oil fields, a full scale famine is likely to erupt in parts of Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal.
These ACT appeals target populations living in areas controlled by the government of Sudan. Further appeals for people living in rebel controlled parts of Sudan will be issued at a later stage.
For further information please contact:
ACT Communications Officers Nils Carstensen
(mobile/cell phone +41 79 358 3171) or
ACT Press Officer Rainer Lang (mobile/cell phone + 41 79 681 1868).
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org