Home | News    Friday 22 October 2004

White House calls for increased global assistance for Darfur

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HERSHEY, United States, Oct 21 (AFP) — The White House called for stepped-up international efforts to end the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region, adding that the United States continues to support humanitarian efforts underway.

"Though there has been some progress in reducing the suffering and loss of life, the crisis in Darfur continues," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in a statement, issued while President George W. Bush was campaigning for re-election in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

"The world community must work together to bring an end to the crisis while simultaneously supporting persons already displaced," he said.

"We also urge the international community to respond generously to fund the vital programs that support the victims in both Chad and Sudan."

"We commend the African Union’s efforts to stem the violence and call on the world to support their efforts," the statement added.

According to the White House, the United States "leads the world in responding to the crisis in Darfur."

"We have provided over 300 million dollars in aid to date for food, shelter, access to clean water, and basic health services for the 1.5 million displaced people of Darfur."

An estimated 70,000 people have died and around 1.4 million have been displaced in Darfur after what UN officials have called a scorched-earth campaign of ethnic cleansing by Arab militias against the region’s black African population.

The UN Security Council has threatened sanctions on Sudan’s vital oil industry if Khartoum fails to rein in the militias.

The United States has officially declared that genocide has taken place in vast region of western Sudan.

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