Sudan: Water shortage already critical in Darfur villages. More problems to come following expulsion of aid agencies - Warns founder of Kids for Kids

Urgent action is needed now to prevent major disaster

KIDS FOR KIDS has received reports from the villages of Darfur that water shortage is already affecting many families. This follows consternation at the expulsion of 13 aid agencies from Darfur. Although these were concentrating on providing aid to the hundreds of thousands of people living in the camps, it is thought that the only chance many families will now have is to return to still surviving villages. KIDS FOR KIDS, the only organisation that has continued to provide long term help to villages, strengthening communities so that people can remain in their homes, is calling for urgent help to enable villages to provide a refuge for people once again forced to flee.

Conditions in the villages of Darfur have been ignored throughout the conflict, despite increasing deterioration as the effects of the ongoing insecurity have hit home. Whilst the aid agencies provided handpumps and food for the camps, virtually nothing has been done to help villages. Few pumps have been provided in remote areas and people have been forced to walk for many hours to reach water, despite the risk of attack. Existing pumps that have broken down, have been left unrepaired. Even basic health care is not available. An influx of refugees will further undermine the chance of survival for these villages.

KIDS FOR KIDS is calling for help to extend their projects to more areas. "Despite the conflict there are already 41 KIDS FOR KIDS' villages and this year we will be extending our projects to 10 more. But this is not enough" said Patricia Parker, founder of the charity whose aim is to help children in the neglected villages of Darfur. "We are unique, as we provide a whole package of integrated projects both identified, and run, by the people themselves. If you enable a mother to help her own family, to make her own decisions, it will benefit the whole community." KIDS FOR KIDS is supported by individuals, many of them children from many different countries.

In a recent debate on Sudanese television following the expulsion of the international aid agencies, an unexpected tribute was paid to KIDS FOR KIDS by a former Governor of Darfur, who said that KIDS FOR KIDS was unlike other organisations "it did not just hand out aid, it enabled people to help themselves". What is urgently needed now in the light of recent events, is more help to support more villages.

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We don't believe in charity, we believe in helping people to help themselves

Patricia Parker MBE
Kids for Kids
Mobile: +44 79 5720 6440
Fax: +44 1306 887624
Address: P.O. Box 456, Dorking, Surrey RH4 2WS

If you would like to do something practical to help Darfur, visit the 'How to Help' page on the Kids for Kids website.