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As 2008 begins, the crisis in Darfur moves into its fifth year and hundreds of thousands of Sudanese face another year of living in refugee camps and relying on the international community for aid and comfort. AmeriCares is preparing its tenth airlift of medicines and medical aid to deliver in the coming months and to be distributed by our partners in the region. The continued response by AmeriCares comes after aid worker Christoph Gorder traveled to Darfur in August to assess the programs that AmeriCares is supporting.
Since 2004, AmeriCares has sent nine airlifts to North, South and West Darfur, delivering 152 tons of medicines, medical supplies and other critically needed relief worth more than $2 million to help those who have been driven from their homes during the brutal civil conflict. More than two million people have been displaced as a result and hundreds of thousands have been killed.
Need for Medicine
According to Gorder, there is tremendous need for additional medical relief in the refugee camps in North, South and West Darfur. “Virtually all the prescriptions that the doctors at these facilities have written over the last three years have been filled with medicines provided by AmeriCares,” says Gorder. “Our medications have helped hundreds of thousands of men, women and children here.”
AmeriCares is the only relief agency delivering airlifts of medicines directly into Darfur, thus greatly reducing security risks and transportation times for these valuable treatments (most other aid shipments must go through Khartoum and then are trucked or flown to Darfur). AmeriCares delivers the medicines to partners on the ground who are managing the clinics and health care facilities in refugee camps throughout the region.
“We spent some time outside of Geneina in West Darfur, where more than 30,000 people have been living for three years in Krinding camp,” says Gorder. “The camp population has been fairly stable, so people have built semi-permanent mud huts and have fenced off their areas with reed fences. Like most people who have been forced from their homes and sought refuge in camps, they are entirely dependent on the international community for everything – food, health care, schools, and protection.”
Links:Sudan Country PageOther Darfur stories and press releases