Caritas says insecurity key to Darfur humanitarian crisis

Caritas Australia said that despite the recent peace agreement between the Sudan government and key Darfur rebel groups, millions of people are still living in "chronic insecurity" in Darfur and may not yet feel the benefits of the agreement.

According to a Caritas statement issued yesterday, the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region has created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with over 200,000 people killed and more than two million displaced in the past three years.

Caritas says it is continuing to support the Darfur Emergency Response Operation (DERO) - a collaboration between the Caritas network and Action by Churches Together, which aims to improve the quality of life of the internally displaced communities most affected by the civil unrest in the southern and western regions of Darfur.

"DERO is the first example of two global ecumenical networks responding jointly to a humanitarian crisis," said Simon Stroud, Caritas Australia's Africa Program Group Leader.

"Since 2004, 325,000 people affected by the conflict have received access to basic shelter and essential services such as clean water and primary healthcare through DERO's integrated program," he said.

Civilians have been in the front line throughout the conflict, which has seen killings, systematic rape, forced displacement, and destruction of villages, the statement says.

"Caritas Australia is committed to peace building, reconciliation and the relief of suffering of the people in the Darfur region. In 2006, the program will include a strengthen emphasis on peace building and child protection, while still continuing to respond to the need for the basic essentials," said Mr Stroud.

Caritas says it is essential that the international community and governments fulfil promises of relief assistance to provide for the need of vulnerable communities in Darfur.

Humanitarian crisis causes chronic insecurity in Darfur (Caritas Australia 9/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Caritas Australia

Caritas commits funds for Darfur emergency response (CathNews 9/1/06)

CRS praises Darfur agreement, expresses concern about sustained peace (Catholic News Service 8/5/06)
Let UN peacekeepers take over from African Union says African church group (Independent Catholic News 9/5/06)
Demonstration urges action on Darfur (The Tablet 6/5/06)
CAFOD welcomes Darfur initiatives (The Universe 6/5/06)
Sudanese Peace Is Fragile, Says Cardinal (Zenit 4/5/06)
Thousands of lives at risk as Darfur peace agreement delayed (Independent Catholic News 3/5/06)

10 May 2006