For all but 12 of Sudan's 42 years of independence,
civil conflict has divided the country between the Government of Sudan
(GOS) in the north and rebel forces in the south. This conflict has gone
on for so long that most Sudanese, especially children, know little else.
In just the past 18 years, the war has resulted in more than 2 million
casualties and an estimated 4 million people displaced. As with most long-running
armed conflicts, the vast majority of victims in Sudan are women, children
and the elderly, who often suffer the worst human rights abuses.
CARE began operating in Sudan in 1979, starting with emergency relief activities but evolving toward long-term solutions to poverty. Programs expanded to include separate operations in southern Sudan in 1991. As the humanitarian crisis worsened in conjunction with escalating hostilities, it became clear that true progress in overcoming poverty was severely hampered in the midst of raging conflict. So, while CARE's current development and rehabilitation programs focus on agricultural, environmental and primary health care activities, we also began advocating for a just resolution to the ongoing civil war.
Among our efforts are:
The Kordofan Food for Work Project - CARE helps women and poor families in each community construct ditches for collecting rain and runoff water. In addition to providing work opportunities, this project enhances food security.
Basic Health for War Displaced - CARE works to reduce malaria-related death and illness among 2,500 internally displaced persons outside Sudan's capital, Khartoum, through an information campaign promoting the use of bed nets. The project also works with local cottage industries to produce the bed nets.
Wau Girls' Education Project - CARE converted feeding centers into facilities for girls' education, providing support, training and agricultural supplies for rice production.
Sudan Basic Education Program - CARE, working with several other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), seeks to increase access to education in southern Sudan by rehabilitating teacher education programs, expand capacity - especially in programs for girls, and improving non-formal education for out-of-school youth and adult learners. The program works in three regions of southern Sudan (Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal, and Equatoria).
Peace talks between the government of Sudan and the main rebel group resulted in the signing of the Machakos Protocol in July, 2002. Since then, there have been several rounds of peace talks, focusing on such key issues as power- and wealth-sharing. With the on-going talks showing encouraging, if fitful, progress toward peace, CARE remains committed to its advocacy efforts for a resolution to the conflict and is working to help contribute to post-conflict Sudan.