Sudan

Millions in need of help as Caritas launched 2010 Darfur Appeal

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Caritas has launched a US $12 million appeal to directly help 350,000 people in Sudan's Darfur region, including 240,000 who have lost there homes.

Caritas will continue to provide clean water, healthcare, peace building and livelihoods in a continuation of its six-year programme.

Over 2.5 million people who have fled from their homes because of conflict remain in Darfur and many live outside Sudan. Many of these people are totally reliant on the remaining aid agencies or the UN still present in Darfur after 16 aid agencies were closed down or expelled in March.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight said, "Caritas and its partners continue to help 350,000 people through this appeal. Over the next 12 months, there will be a continued focus on providing desperately needed aid as one of the biggest humanitarian organisations left operating in Darfur.

"Looking back at 2009, it is quite clear that among the greatest achievements was the ability to fill some of the gaps in the aftermath of March expulsions of other international aid agencies."

The six-year programme is a partnership between Caritas and the Protestant and Orthodox aid agency alliance Act International. Together, Caritas and ACT have raised US $81 million for the people of Darfur since 2004.

Activities stretch from Garsilla in West Darfur to Ed Daein in South Darfur.

Programme snapshot from 2009

- Health care in 10 health facilities for 173,965 people.

- 167,805 people have had access to water in West Darfur camps through 38 water yards and water tanks set up for Hassa Hissa, Hamedia and Khamsadagaig camps.

- A solar based pumping system has been installed in Kubum camp with four more scheduled for installation in Garsilla and Zalingei by December

- Three new schools have been constructed, nine schools rehabilitated and one vocational training centre established.

- Nutrition centres provided access to feed a total of 20,151 malnourished beneficiaries.

- Nine community centres have been able to provide a wide range of services throughout the year.

- Sport for Peace youth programme and the training of 190 community peace builders.

- Fourteen women's committees have been able to work with adult education and literacy.

- 22 microfinance groups set up.

For more information, please contact Patrick Nicholson - nicholson@caritas.va - 0039 3343590700