Friday, June 03, 2005

European Commission allocates EUR 12 million to victims of the Darfur conflict who have fled to Chad - EUR 400 million awaiting South and North Sudan

The European Commission makes the following announcement today on its allocation of EUR 12 million to victims of the Darfur conflict who have fled to Chad.

[Note the break down, listed below, re EUR 400 million donation for South and North Sudan. Since southern Sudan appears to be in desperate need of funding and the violence in Darfur has, especially compared to this time last year, greatly reduced, it looks like EUR 50 milliion will soon be released and split evenly between South and North Sudan.]

The EC has released 12 million euros in humanitarian aid for the victims of the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, to alleviate the consequences of the population movements affecting Chad.

This aid is to cover the immediate needs of the refugees, the host population and returnees. It will be channelled through the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), under the responsibility of Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

Since the beginning of the crisis in February 2003, the political and humanitarian situation in Darfur has brought massive population displacements that have not been confined to Sudan. In 2004, fighting and attacks on civilians in Darfur drove a large number of Sudanese refugees into Chad. There are currently more than 213 000 Sudanese refugees in eleven camps spread around the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti, Biltine and Ouaddai regions of Chad. Water and agricultural resources are scarce in these three regions, which are quite unsuited to large population influxes.

The decision is intended to provide for the refugees' main needs in areas such as health, water and hygiene, food security, protection of the civilian population, education, shelter and basic necessities like cooking equipment, blankets and so forth. The decision also covers the most pressing needs of the host population directly affected by this influx.

The situation in Darfur and the scale of the humanitarian crisis are such that there is no prospect of a swift return to Sudan for the refugees. Current events in Sudan mean that there may yet be further waves of refugees.

The European Commission has donated a total of EUR 213 million to the region since the beginning of the Darfur crisis, including aid to Sudanese refugees in Chad. EUR 86 million has been channelled via ECHO, of which EUR 72 million was for Darfur and EUR 14 million for Chad.

For further information see:

Given conditions in the country, this cooperation strategy must also respond to basic needs at the local level.
The cooperation-strategy paper sets out a framework for the EU's contribution to Sudan, corresponding to an indicative amount of EUR 400 million, broken down as follows:

EUR 127.5 million: 9th European Development Fund - allocation for new programmes;
EUR 191 million: transfer to cover lost revenue from farm exports. These funds will be allocated to food security operations;
EUR 16.5 million: programmes already decided but still to be implemented;
EUR 43 million: 9th European Development Fund - contingencies, notably humanitarian needs;
EUR 5-10 million annually: indicative budget allocations (not including humanitarian assistance).

The response strategy adopted by the Commission will focus on two primary sectors: food security and education. It will target in particular the resettlement of displaced persons, with an emphasis on capacity-building for good governance. The strategy may also cover demobilization, disarmament and reintegration operations, including mine clearance, the training of security forces and other actions under Article 11 of the Cotonou Agreement. It also concerns human rights, good governance and the rule of law and provides direct support to the peace process, initiatives to consolidate peace and efforts to strengthen civil society and the healthcare sector.

Immediately following the signing of the strategy paper and of the national indicative programme, the Commission and Sudanese government must study and approve a memorandum of understanding. This will take place in cooperation with the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/government of South Sudan, the goal being to reflect the country's new institutional set-up in the wake of the Naivasha Agreement and the scenario planned for the post-conflict period.

Once the strategy paper has been signed, a EUR 50 million programme will be quickly launched to bring the benefits of peace as rapidly as possible to the North as well as the South (EUR 25 million for each region). The programme's core aim is to organize projects bringing together the country's communities that will be implemented in partnership with local NGOs and non-state actors.

More information: ECHO.
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Zoellick in Darfur to support African Union

America's two billion dollar man is in town.

"This visit is ... to assess the humanitarian and security situation (and) to show support for the African Union mission," a senior State Department official said.

[Maybe that is code speak for dishing out some money. The United States has contributed some two billion dollars for southern Sudan and Mr Zoellick, who is a very experienced accountant, is in charge of guarding that the funds are spent wisely.]

Zoellick held private talks on Darfur with the leaders of Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda

According to the above Reuters report:

Mr Zoellick said he would meet AU and UN officials, tribal leaders and aid workers in Darfur and discuss how to get more food to the region and improve security.

At the beginning of the year, the WFP had predicted the number of people needing food would peak at 2.8 million.

But persistent insecurity has stopped local farmers from planting crops and women are scared to leave their villages for food or firewood because they fear attacks, it says.

"The rural population is becoming more and more food insecure," Jamie Wickens, WFP's associate director of operations, told Reuters. "It's getting to be very serious, a vicious cycle," he said.

As well as meeting Bashir, Zoellick held private talks on Darfur with the leaders of Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda. The first three plus Senegal have agreed to send troops to Darfur as part of an expanded AU peace force.

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