SUDAN WATCH: Aid workers trying to deliver vital assistance for 4.7 million people in Darfur, W. Sudan

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Aid workers trying to deliver vital assistance for 4.7 million people in Darfur, W. Sudan

The UN Mine Action Office, reports that it has successfully completed a series of workshops to jointly develop a transition framework and a plan to transfer the ownership of the Sudan Mine Action Programme to the National Mine Action Centre based in Khartoum, and the South Sudan Demining Commission (SSDC) based in Juba.

Meanwhile, aid workers face great security problems trying to deliver vital assistance for 4.7 million conflict affected people.

So far this year, there have been 11 killed; 261 vehicles hijacked; 172 assaults on premises; 35 ambushes/lootings of convoys; 189 staff abducted; 28 wounded; and 25 relocations.

Source: UN HQ, New York, highlights of the noon briefing by Michele Montas, Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Tuesday, December 02, 2008 - excerpt:
U.N. HUMANITARIAN CHIEF STRESSES NEED FOR PROTECTION OF SUDANESE CIVILIANS 

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes has concluded his six-day visit to Sudan by reiterating the importance of the protection of civilians and urging improved cooperation with the Government of Sudan in facilitating humanitarian assistance in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.
 
Holmes said: “What we need above all in Darfur is a comprehensive ceasefire, followed by a rapid peace settlement. But as long as we don’t have peace so that people can return home, the humanitarian response will be needed.
 
He added, “The key issue remains protection on all levels; protection of civilians, particularly women and children, safety and security for aid workers and respect for the fundamental principles of humanitarianism to enable us to continue assisting those affected by conflict and natural disaster.”

He also emphasized the challenging security environment which Darfur poses for aid workers trying to deliver vital assistance for 4.7 million conflict affected people.
 
So far this year, there have been 11 killed; 261 vehicles hijacked; 172 assaults on premises; 35 ambushes/lootings of convoys; 189 staff abducted; 28 wounded; and 25 relocations.
 
During his visit, Holmes was also updated on the enormous challenges facing the south.  He urged donors to continue their funding to confront critical humanitarian and recovery issues, particularly in the health sector, and encouraged the Government of Southern Sudan to step up efforts to provide basic services and develop key sectors such as `agriculture.
 
The UN Mine Action Office, meanwhile, reports that it has successfully completed a series of workshops to jointly develop a transition framework and a plan to transfer the ownership of the Sudan Mine Action Programme to the National Mine Action Centre based in Khartoum, and the South Sudan Demining Commission (SSDC) based in Juba.

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