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SUDAN: World Vision flies in supplies to Darfur

Thu, 15 July 2004

SUDAN: World Vision flies in supplies to Darfur

World Vision airlifted the first batch of mosquito nets into southern Darfur this week but relief workers warn more assistance is urgently needed.

Relief team leader George Fenton says there is a desperate need for plastic sheeting, blankets, jerry cans and even more mosquito nets for refugees.

Aid workers fear the onset of the rainy season will increase the chances of a major malaria outbreak in the camps unless refugees have access to nets.

The nets will be distributed soon but dozens more airlifts are required to meet demands for essential supplies.

Mr Fenton said the challenge for World Vision is cash.

"We need another airlift, and to do that we need more funding," he said.

Meanwhile World Vision staff are planning extensive sanitation and nutrition programmes in the area. Poor sanitation presents further risk of disease.

World Vision communications manager Steve Matthews, speaking from Darfur, said Nyala town was bursting at the seams with refugees and all aspects of humanitarian assistance needed to be looked at.

World Vision this week nailed down an agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) to deliver food to the value of US$7 million to refugees in the Nyala area of South Darfur. Distributions are scheduled to start early in August.

Although the initial beneficiary list consists of 150,000 refugees this number is expected to double or even triple in months to come. World Vision is the World Food Programme's largest partner for the distribution of food aid.

About one million people are estimated to be displaced in Darfur, where villages have been razed, water sources poisoned and thousands left dead or starving.

World Vision New Zealand has to date raised $56,000 for its Sudan Relief Appeal. Donations can be made by phoning 0800 90 1010.


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