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Oxfam plane takes aid to Sudanese Refugees

Oxfam plane takes aid to Sudanese Refugees

Oxfam is sending a plane today, carrying NZ$450,000 worth of emergency aid to help thousands of refugees who have fled the violence in Darfur, Sudan. The plane is carrying materials to construct emergency water and sanitation facilities for over 35,000 refugees.

Over one million people have been driven from their homes, with hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in makeshift camps in Sudan and over the border in Chad. Conditions in many of the camps are dire and deteriorating as more and more people arrive each day.

At Bredjing in eastern Chad sanitation is almost non-existent with just 63 latrines to cater for a population of 24,000. Many people are running out of food and drinking water is scarce, while half the people in the camp lack even the most basic shelter from the elements – torrential rain and scorching daytime temperatures of up to 50 degrees.

Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand said: “The rains are making a desperate situation even worse. The dirt roads are becoming impassable and the two-hour journey to Bredjing camp is now taking days, with staff having to wade through waist deep water to reach the camp. Floodwaters are washing human and animal waste into water sources raising fears of outbreaks of disease such as cholera and diarrhoea. For people, particularly children, already suffering from malnutrition and dehydration these diseases can kill. ”

“The water and sanitation equipment on the plane will enable engineers to construct emergency water storage and distribution systems and to build latrines in Brejing camp and elsewhere. These supplies will help boost our public health programme to help over 115,000 women, men and children. Yet there is much more to do and every donation we receive allows us to do that little bit more.”

Oxfam has launched a public appeal for people inside Darfur and for refugees in Chad. Members of the public who would like to make a donation can call 0800 600 700 or donate online at http://www.oxfam.org.nz

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