Originally published
Appeal Number: #642-G

Appeal Amount: $1.2 million

Jan. 5, 2010

SITUATION: The New York Times recently reported that a "fragile calm" is now holding in the crisis-ridden region of Darfur, in western Sudan.

The Jan. 2 story by reporter Jeffrey Gettleman said that tensions have eased, with some farmers returning to their fields from the displacement camps they have lived in for years following a conflict that began in 2003.

*Frozen,* but "remains unpredictable" is how Lt. Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, the Rwandan commander of the 20,000 African peacekeepers in Darfur, described the situation to Gettleman. In describing the situation as being "stuck between war and peace," Gettleman noted that violence is still common in the region. As a result, "the flow of people out of the camps is just a trickle compared with the 2.7 million still stuck in them, afraid to go home."

Those working on behalf of Church World Service and other members of the Action by Churches Together network say the situation in Darfur remains "very serious," according to ACT. The ACT humanitarian program in Darfur began in 2004 and remains one of the largest humanitarian programs in South and West Darfur, with approximately 350,000 beneficiaries.

Some 2.7 million people from Darfur remain displaced from their homes, according to a UN estimate, and more than 4 million people remain directly affected by the conflict, both in Darfur and neighboring Chad.

Many of these people have been living in temporary camps for up to six years, and are largely reliant on international aid programs in order to survive.

Although the level of violence appears to have subsided in many of the areas where the CWS-supported program operates, there is still a widespread lack of security, which discourages people from returning to their home areas, ACT reports. Amid these difficulties, the ACT program continues to be "operating in a very difficult humanitarian environment."

RESPONSE: The cornerstone of the CWS-supported program in Darfur remains the delivery of life-saving services to the displaced and to the communities hosting them, as well as support for Sudan-based national partners in their humanitarian response.

In 2009, CWS-supported efforts provided assistance to 300,000 people in South and West Darfur. Among the efforts from 2009 that continue: operating and maintaining 38 water system sites for the displaced, serving some 167,805 persons, and providing health services to more than 170,000 persons living in camps and rural communities.

Other highlights of the past year include:

* Continued access to health care in ten health facilities for 173,965 people;

* Some 29,206 displaced households were provided with non-food items;

* Three new schools were constructed, nine schools rehabilitated and one vocational training center established;

* Nutrition centers fed a total of 20,151 malnourished beneficiaries;

* Youth were supported in a "sports for peace" program in South and West Darfur;

* A grassroots peace-building initiative was developed through the training of 190 community-based organization members in peace-building, conflict resolution and reconciliation in South and West Darfur;

* Fourteen women*s committees in South and West Darfur worked on adult education and literacy programs;

* Twenty-two microfinance groups in South and West Darfur were formed and supported.

Efforts in 2010 will focus in particular on those living in Nyala and Ed Daein, in South Darfur, and Zalingei and Garsilla, in West Darfur. As many beneficiaries from CWS-supported programs receive several different services, exact numbers of those assisted are difficult to determine. Perhaps the most accurate number is that of continuing beneficiaries of CWS-supported water and sanitation programs: 344,449 people, of whom 237,261 are displaced and 107,188 are residents of rural/host communities.

Among the continued program work: nutrition and feeding centers for the displaced; water and sanitation projects; psycho-social, peace-building and protection efforts; and community empowerment projects. Highlights include support for seven feeding clinics and four nutrition centers; ongoing construction of educational facilities; and training and material support to schools for those displaced and for communities hosting them.

BUDGET: The overall annual budget for CWS-supported efforts in Darfur is $12.36 million, of which CWS is seeking to raise $1.2 million.

Complete budget figures are available from CWS.

HOW TO HELP: Contributions to support this emergency appeal may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: 2010 Darfur (Sudan) Humanitarian Response, Appeal Number #642-G

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.

CWS Emergency Response Program special contacts: (212) 870-3151

Program Director: