The UN has classified the situation in Sudan as one of the great humanitarian disasters in the world. According to Foreign Minister Paet, the situation reigning in Sudan and Chad is extremely alarming. "The civil war going on in Sudan has caused a wide-spread humanitarian crisis, which has taken many victims from among the civilian population," said Foreign Minister Paet. The foreign minister stated that the humanitarian situation is constantly worsening, and only Sudan's neighbour Chad has accepted a few hundred thousand refugees. This number is growing with each day.
Almost 2 million people have died as a result of the decades-long civil war in Sudan. A total of 4.6 million people have left their homes during the war, and more than 2 million of them are still internally displaced persons today. There are conflicts in many ethnic regions in Southern Sudan and in Darfur in the western part of the country, which has forced internally displaced persons to move to the eastern parts of the country. Over half a million refugees have fled to neighbouring nations, mainly Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Chad. In addition, over 200,000 refugees have also come into Sudan from the neighbouring countries of Eritrea, Chad, Ethiopia, Congo, and other places.
In a 2008 appeal, the UNCHR estimated that the sum needed to help the refugees and internally displaced persons in Southern Sudan was 122 million USD. The support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees includes first and foremost the means to satisfy basic needs, including food, transport and logistics, household goods, shelter, drinking water, and the creation of sanitary conditions. The UNCHR's appeal set a goal to help 160,000 refugees return to their homes during the year 2008 and 2009 and support the restoration of normal life in Southern Sudan.
Estonia has been supporting efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Sudan since 2004.
The project is being financed from the Foreign Ministry's budget for development and humanitarian aid. The Estonian Foreign Ministry's budget for development and humanitarian aid in 2008 is 60 million kroons.
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