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Relief supplies fly into Sudan today

Tue, 20 July 2004

Relief supplies fly into Sudan today

With the refugee situation worsening in Darfur, Sudan, World Vision is flying in 41 metric tonnes of emergency supplies to Nyala, Sudan, today. The supplies, which include 4,800 tarpaulins for shelter, 9600 blankets, and 10,000 jerry cans for water, are being flown from Brindisi, Italy.

Refugee camps in South Darfur urgently need supplies, according to relief staff. In Kalma Camp, 20 kilometres from where the plane will land, the population has more than doubled in three weeks, with 70,000 there this week and more coming every day.

"If Kalma is a barometer for what's happening all over Darfur, clearly this would be a growing humanitarian disaster, perhaps on the brink of a massive humanitarian catastrophe. Aid agencies, donors, and the UN are working frantically to assist the people, but obstacles of just about every kind hamper almost every bit of the very difficult work," says World Vision communicator Steve Matthews.

Emergency Health Specialist Dr Mesfin Teklu says, "Kalma camp is barely functional right now. There isn't enough clean water. Sanitation is almost non-existent. Many of the children appear to be very sick and malnourished."

The children's illnesses are mostly malaria, diarrhoea, and acute respiratory tract infections, which can lead to pneumonia. There are also fears of dysentery or cholera as the rainy season begins.

World Vision's Global Rapid Response Team arrived in Nyala last week. Already they've brought in nearly 10,000 mosquito nets and will distribute today's airlift of emergency supplies over the next few days. World Vision, the World Food Programme's largest distribution partner, will distribute food to approximately 250,000 people in South Darfur in the coming months.

New Zealanders have contributed over $56,000 to World Vision's relief efforts in Sudan.

ENDS

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