Sudan + 1 more

UK charities launch emergencies appeal as crisis deepens in Sudan

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News and Press Release
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WHAT: BBC's Natasha Kaplinsky launches the DEC's Sudan Emergency Appeal (the group's 50th appeal)
WHERE: i-Witness outdoor Photographic Exhibition on London's South Bank (next to the GLA building)

WHEN: 10.00am Tuesday 20th July

The UK's best known international aid charities are launching a joint national appeal on Tuesday for public help as the crisis in Sudan deepens. BBC Breakfast presenter Natasha Kaplinsky's and actress Joanna Lumley's powerful and personal appeals will be shown on all the TV stations on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Sudan Emergency Appeal.

Money raised by this, the DEC's 50th appeal, is desperately needed to provide emergency aid to thousands of men, women and children forced to flee their homes because of the violence in Darfur, Sudan. Some have managed to cross the border into neighbouring Chad. Many more have headed for makeshift camps inside Sudan.

DEC spokesperson, Sophie Battas, who has just returned from four months working in Darfur said things are going from bad to worse.

"I have worked in many emergency situations over the past few years -- Zimbabwe, Malawi, Colombia, Iraq, DRC, Angola -- and this is definitely the largest-scale humanitarian crisis I have seen," she said. "The scale of people's suffering is immense and only getting worse. People have lost family members, been driven from their homes and lost everything they own. More Sudanese continue to leave their villages daily in search of safety within Darfur or across the border in Chad.

"In Kalma camp in South Darfur last week, I spoke with a woman who had arrived three months ago with her five children. The only clothes she had were the ones she was wearing. Each day, she had to line up for five hours in sweltering heat to fill her bucket with water. She did not have enough food, and her only shelter was a piece of plastic sheeting, under which the whole family slept.

"In this camp 57,000 have been living with just 200 latrines in the entire camp, roughly one for every 285 people. The normal standard for a disaster response is one latrine per twenty people.

Sophie added: "The scale of the crisis is overwhelming, and although aid agencies are working very hard to provide basic things like food, water, shelter, and sanitation, two million people in the region need food aid."

Refugees are sleeping in the open, they are running out of food and drinking water is scarce. Floodwaters from recent rains are washing human and animal waste into water sources raising fears of outbreaks of disease. Time is running out for refugees both inside and outside of Sudan.

The money raised through the DEC appeal will help provide those fleeing the violence in Sudan and eastern Chad with shelter, clean water and sanitation. It will also provide emergency food aid and basic items such as water buckets, blankets and soap.

Brendan Gormley, the DEC's Chief Executive said: "The member agencies are already there and working tirelessly. Now they need your help to scale up their work and reach the ever-increasing number of people in desperate need."

What your donation could buy:

- =A315 will provide a family with plastic sheeting a water container and purification tablets

- =A344 will feed a family of five for two months

- =A384 will buy two household kits including a mosquito net, blanket, and kitchen utensils

Notes to Editors:

- Natasha Kaplinsky will preside over the launch at 10.00am at the i-Witness outdoor Photographic Exhibition on London's South Bank next to the GLA building with powerful pictures of Sudan's suffering by Tom Stoddart who will be attending Ken Livingstone and aid workers just returned from Sudan will also be available for interview. i-Witness Outdoor Exhibition, 2 More London London SE1 2DB (next to the GLA building)

- The DEC charities benefiting from the Sudan Emergency are: British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

- To make a donation or find out more information about the DEC visit our website at www.dec.org.uk, send a cheque/postal order to made payable to the: DEC Sudan Emergency, PO BOX 999, London EC3 or call 0870 60 60 900

Media Enquiries 020 7387 0200 or mobile 07940 824 444