U.N.: Aid to Darfur refugees not limitless - UNAMID police are now patrolling Kalma camp on a round the clock basis
November 28, 2008 (AP) report from Kalma Camp, Sudan:
The United Nations'' humanitarian chief says a solution must be reached quickly for Darfur''s refugees, warning that international aid for their camps is not unlimited.Source: alwatandaily.alwatan.com
John Holmes has made the comments during a tour Tuesday of Kalma camp, home to around 100,000 of the 2.5 million people displaced by fighting in Darfur since 2003.
Earlier this month, he launched an appeal for 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in donations to fund U.N. aid to Darfur.
Holmes says refugees and displaced people are "reasonably well settled in these camps" but questions "how long we can go on like this."
He says solutions must be found quickly "so we don''t have to go on doing this indefinitely." He warns that the "generosity" of international donors "has its limits."
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Photo: U.N. Humanitarian Chief John Holmes, 2nd left, listens to an aid worker, far left, in Kalma refugee camp in southern Darfur, Sudan Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008. Holmes warned Tuesday that international aid for millions of Darfur residents cannot go on indefinitely and said the Sudanese government and rebels must negotiate a solution that would allow the displaced to return home. (AP Photo/Sarah El Deeb)
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UN HUMANITARIAN CHIEF CONCERNED ABOUT LONG-TERM DARFUR AID
November 25, 2008 (AFP) report from Kalma Camp, Sudan:
The top U.N. humanitarian official Tuesday asked how long the world could fund relief efforts in Sudan's Darfur, where aid workers are attacked almost daily after nearly six years of war.Source: Morning Star/Dow Jones
John Holmes, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, made the remarks on his third visit to Darfur while visiting Kalma Camp, which houses around 100,000 of the 2.7 million people displaced by the fighting in western Sudan.
The consequences of an uprising by ethnic rebels against the Sudanese government in February 2003 and the ensuing repression from the standing army and Arab militias sparked the world's biggest humanitarian relief effort.
"I think in some ways it has continued to deteriorate in the sense that there's still displacement going on, there's still violence. I think it's not, in many cases, an emergency," Holmes told reporters.
"People are reasonably well settled in these camps. Unfortunately that's a problem in itself but people are not dying of starvation.
"The problem is that people have been in camps four or five years now, how do you tackle that problem...how long can we go on like this?" asked the U.N. supremo on humanitarian aid.
On Thursday, the U.N. launched a formal appeal for $1.56 billion from donors to bankroll aid work in Sudan that is expected to cost a total of $2.2 billion in 2009.
"This is a billion-dollar operation to help two-thirds of the population of Darfur. We need to find some solutions quickly so that we don't have to go on doing this indefinitely," said Holmes.
Asked how long he felt the international community could continue to fund the operation, Holmes said: "You can't put a timescale on it. It depends on the generosity of the donors, which has been there so far. But that generosity has its limits."
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UNITED NATIONS URGES MORE SECURITY FOR DISPLACED AT SUDAN CAMP
November 26, 2008 (Bloomberg) report by Heba Aly in Khartoum, Sudan:
A camp for Sudanese people displaced by fighting in the western Darfur region needs more protection, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief said.
At least 33 civilians died and 108 were wounded at the Kalma camp in August when government security forces opened fire on its occupants. Sudan’s government claimed police were responding to fire from inside the camp, which houses more than 80,000 people. The UN-led peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as Unamid, has since increased its presence in the area.
“Unamid police are now patrolling the camp on a round the clock basis, which has helped people to feel safer,” John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in a statement e-mailed after he visited the camp. “But we still need to do more, not least to ensure women can feel safe as they move in and out of the camp.”
Holmes is on a six-day tour of Sudan that began yesterday in Darfur. At least 300,000 people are estimated to have died and about 3 million forced to flee their homes in the region since 2003, when mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated government complaining of marginalization.
Unamid has long complained that it is short of the troops and equipment -- especially military helicopters -- required to carry out its duties. Almost a year after it began deploying, less than half the mandated 26,000 soldiers, police and staff are on the ground.
To contact the reporter on this story: Heba Aly in Khartoum via Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Hamudi Abdullah Mohammed witnessed the death of his parents during an early morning militia attack on his village in Darfur. This photo was taken at the Kalma camp for displaced people, near Nyala, capital of South Darfur. (UNICEF/Shehzad Noorani)