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Actress Mia Farrow, in Darfur for UNICEF

Mia Farrow, in Darfur for UNICEF, calls for child-centred peace and recovery

Peace and recovery in Darfur must focus on the safety and well-being of children, Actress Mia Farrow, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told Government and rebel leaders during her trip to the Sudanese province.

“Everyone that I spoke to at the camps said the same things – they want to feel safe so that they can go home and rebuild their futures. They want water, health, education and livelihoods,” Farrow said today after visiting schools, health clinics and water points in North and South Darfur from 11-15 June with her son Ronan, a UNICEF Spokesperson for Youth.

“The humanitarian community is working to make sure Darfurians have access to adequate resources, but is dealing with unpredictable security on the ground as well as a need for additional funds to sustain the current services.”

Ms. Farrow urged all parties, whether or not they were signers to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), to commit to a peaceful resolution of the Darfur crisis and to continue a dialogue to resolve differences in order to bring the misery and suffering of children to an end.

The actress, who was afflicted with polio as a child, initially became involved with UNICEF in order to campaign for the eradication of this disease, the agency said.

Over 250,000 people in Darfur have been displaced by new fighting since the start of 2006 and more than 1.8 million children continue to face serious survival and protection concerns, UNICEF said.

As of 1 June, however, UNICEF has received only 20.6 per cent of the funding required to maintain basic humanitarian assistance programmes in the region, the agency announced.

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