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Save The Children Welcomes NZ Govt’s Stance

26 July 2004

Save The Children Welcomes NZ Govt’s Stance On Sudan

Save the Children New Zealand congratulated Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff today on expressing his concern about the enormity of the humanitarian crisis in West Sudan at a diplomatic level. The child rights organisation would support New Zealand’s involvement in a peace-keeping mission to West Sudan should the UN request it.

“In the midst of mounting international pressure on the Government of Sudan, it is heart-warming to see the New Zealand Government coming to the forefront of calls for peace and human rights action,” said Save the Children New Zealand’s Executive Director John Bowis.

“Save the Children believes that a UN Security Council resolution, that swings the international community into action, is urgently needed. But it must be strong enough to make an immediate and lasting difference to the lives of over one million displaced people.”

A recent Save the Children assessment of a sample population in West Sudan found that one in three children were malnourished. Mr Bowis said that this precarious nutritional situation could dramatically deteriorate with the very real threat of disease.

“The rains in West Sudan will cause disease to spread more rapidly in the camps. Floodwaters are washing human and animal waste into water sources, raising fears of outbreaks of cholera and diarrhoea. For children, already weakened by malnutrition and dehydration, these diseases can kill.” “The present crisis will continue at the very least until the 2005 harvest in October/November, assuming international intervention will allow people to return safely to their villages and plant in June/July 2005.”

Save the Children New Zealand has launched a national appeal to support food distribution, health care, clean water and child protection. Donations can be made via freephone 0800 167 168; by mail to Freepost Save the Children, PO Box 6584, Marion Square, Wellington; or online at www.savethechildren.org.nz


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