Sudan’s humanitarian aid commission announces new Darfur guidelines

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KHARTOUM (1 Mar .) - The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) of the government of Sudan announced the guidelines for 2013 for the work of humanitarian agencies operating in Darfur, which include facilitating their travel procedures to the region.

Suleiman Abdul Rahman, HAC’s general commissioner, specified that travel permits would be cancelled maximum 72 hours prior to agencies departure to Darfur, adding this is valid for both national and international organizations.

He did note that any entity intending to travel to Darfur must provide HAC with information about the project they are working on and if this includes partners, local or international.

Other guidelines, according to the commissioner, dictate that foreign organizations working temporarily in Darfur must acquire a permanent registration with clear technical agreements and source of their projects' financing.

He said this would ensure that organizations are established in Darfur for longer periods of time promoting stability and the region’s quick recovery.

The principle of the new guidelines is based on the provision of access to all areas of Sudan in need of humanitarian intervention, the commissioner said.

Rahman explained that any exception to this rule would be made under specific circumstances only. If aid workers would encounter themselves under life-threatening situations, HAC would advice them against traveling, he said.