Sudan

Sudan: Money in action - member aid agencies bring the basics of life to Darfur

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THE UK public have responded to the Disasters Emergency Committee's call for help so far by donating more than =A321 million to its Sudan Emergency Appeal.

But how will this be spent?

The agencies that make up the DEC are able to scale up their work in Sudan and Chad now because they know that some of their costs will be paid for by money donated to the DEC from the British Public.

Some of the work to date includes aid flights delivering relief items by Save the Children, CAFOD, Oxfam and the British Red Cross. Planes have touched down in the West African country carrying aid including plastic sheeting for shelter, water containers and purification tablets, cooking equipment, tarpaulins and even a four-wheel drive vehicle to help get aid workers to hard to reach areas.

Other charities, such as Tearfund, are helping to get desperately needed food to thousands of hungry people. Young children in particular are being targeted by the charity, as it is children who often suffer most in these kinds of crises.

World Vision is just one of the charities working on bringing medical help to the refugees. Its workers in south Darfur have just finished building the first of six health clinics that will eventually reach 50,000 people with vaccinations, medical help and extra feeding for toddlers, pregnant mothers and breastfeeding mothers.

Jan Butter, a spokesman for the DEC said the work already underway in Darfur and Chad shows just how important British donations are.

"Agencies can go ahead and build health clinics or deliver food because they know that a percentage of the money they spend now will be replaced by the donations to the DEC," he said. "The money that the British public have given to date and money they donate in the future is crucial.

"What has been done so far by the charities is fantastic and lives have been saved. But even the =A321 million donated to date is only enough to feed 800,000 for six months and there are 1.2million people displaced in Darfur."

ENDS