Home | News    Saturday 26 June 2004

U.S. to provide $14 million in emergency support to western Sudan, eastern Chad

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WASHINGTON, June 25, 2004 (AP) — Calling the humanitarian situation dire, the United States announced Friday it was providing an additional $14 million in emergency support for people in the western Darfur region of Sudan and across the border in eastern Chad.

The State Department said the new funding brings total aid in the region to $110 million since the crisis began in February 2003.

"The humanitarian situation on both sides of the border remains dire and additional donor support for the international relief effort is urgently needed," a department statement said. "The United States encourages other donors to respond.

The new funding includes $8 million for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to provide assistance to Sudanese refugees in Chad, $5 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross for emergency aid in Darfur and $ 1 million for non-governmental organizations and administrative costs.

The conflict, which pits black African tribes against Sudanese government forces and Arab militias, called Janjaweed, has killed between 10,000 and 30,000 Sudanese, and forced 1 million people to flee their homes. Some 2 million people in desperate need of food and humanitarian aid, according to U.N. and U.S. officials.

But Sudan’s minister for humanitarian affairs, Mohammed Yousef Abdullah, denied accounts of famine, fighting and fleeing in Darfur, saying in Paris Friday that the humanitarian situation is "fully under control."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday that the Darfur conflict with the attacks by the Janjaweed militias "is bordering on ethnic cleansing." He urged countries to consider committing troops to disarm the militias if the Sudanese government cannot protect civilians.

Annan and Secretary of State Colin Powell are to visit Sudan and the Darfur region next week.

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