Sudan

Sudan: Urgent appeal to help families in western Darfur

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"These camps were not designed to last this long: they are supposed to be temporary. No one envisioned that 2.5 million people would be living under plastic sheets four years on." -Dominic MacSorley, Director of Operations, Concern Worldwide U.S.

Concern Worldwide is racing against time to get desperately needed supplies to vulnerable families in Western Darfur before the rainy season hits. An estimated 2.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict in Darfur, and the numbers are growing, with new families arriving in the camps every day.

The urgency of delivering plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking pots, and water containers to the camps before the onset of the torrential rains cannot be understated. Providing these items to families at risk will cost $1 million. Concern is appealing to the public for immediate funds to ensure that these essential supplies are delivered in time.

BACKGROUND

Concern has been working in Darfur since 2002, when major interethnic hostilities broke out. It's estimated that two-thirds of the population of Darfur have been affected by the conflict. Concern is addressing the basic survival needs of over 300,000 displaced people in Western Darfur: our largest current humanitarian response.

Continued insecurity is forcing more people to abandon their homes and possessions to seek refuge in the camps. Thousands of families have been living for more than two years under the same piece of plastic they received upon their arrival. These plastic sheets have deteriorated under Darfur's hot sun and need to be replaced before the rainy season.

Dominic MacSorley, Director of Operations for Concern Worldwide U.S., notes: "This is a tough and inhospitable environment-you can't give a family a piece of plastic sheeting and a few blankets and expect them to last indefinitely." MacSorley served as Emergency Coordinator in Sudan.

WHAT IS NEEDED NOW

New people are arriving all the time, adding to already massive need for humanitarian assistance. Anne O'Mahony, Regional Director for Concern's programs in Sudan and the Horn of Africa, reports: "Four years on, and we are still struggling to provide these people with the basics. The truth is, we hoped these people would be back rebuilding their homes by now."

When the heavy rains hit, the already harsh living conditions in Darfur get worse: roads become impassable, flooding occurs, and the risk of malaria and grave health threats posed by poor sanitation greatly increase.

Our immediate priorities are to provide 35,000 families (182,000 people) with plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking pots, and water containers. Concern desperately needs your help to get these essential supplies on the ground in the camps as soon as possible-before the rains start.

Please help us to care for the families whose lives have been torn apart by this conflict.