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Stamford, CT, July 2 2004 – An AmeriCares emergency response team has just returned from the Chad/Sudan border in what is being called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster today.
“Conditions in the camp are deplorable,” said Randy Weiss, emergency response team member for AmeriCares. “Our priorities are to provide clean water and treat the life-threatening cases of cholera and dysentery.”
The desperate search for water can take up to half a day and once found it is too dirty to drink. As a result of the 100 plus degree heat, approximately 7-10 liters of water per day is needed to survive. AmeriCares is providing enough PUR® water purification packets to serve nearly 30,000 people for two months – that equates to purifying a total of 10,000,000 liters of water.
Stamford-based AmeriCares has been airlifting aid into Chad for three months and trucking it hundreds of miles across grueling terrain to makeshift camps along the Sudanese border. AmeriCares plans to airlift more supplies, such as medicines for diarrhea and cholera, IV fluids and other essential drugs and relief provisions in the coming two weeks. The life-saving materials are distributed through the International Rescue Committee, which has established mobile health care clinics to reach the thousands of refugees scattered across the scorching desert wasteland.
The Sudanese took refuge in Chad after they were forced from their homes when fighting erupted in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in early 2003. AmeriCares is the primary provider of medicines and medical equipment for an estimated 30,000 people in and around the village of Bahai.
Nearly 150,000 Sudanese have crossed the border into Chad and another 1 million have been forced from their homes and are internally displaced within Sudan. UN officials estimate more than 2 million people are affected by the violence in Sudan that began 16 months ago.
To help AmeriCares with its relief effort for the Sudanese refugees in Chad the public can make a donation online at: www.americares.org or by calling AmeriCares directly at: 800-486-HELP (4357).