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Over One Million Children in Darfur Beyond Reach of Aid, U.N. Warns

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced yesterday that 1.25 million children in Sudan’s Darfur region are beyond the reach of help because of the insecurity in certain areas.
( [email protected] ) Dec 22, 2005 10:10 PM EST

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced yesterday that 1.25 million children in Sudan’s Darfur region are beyond the reach of help because of the insecurity in certain areas.

Darfur is known as one of the world’s most troubled areas, with ongoing conflicts threatening more than three million children each day with malnutrition, illness and violence. The region has suffered from a three-year conflict between government, paramilitary and rebel forces that have killed tens of thousands and forced 2 million to flee their homes.

Yet largely as a result of humanitarian aid, about 1.75 million children in displaced persons camps and in surrounding towns in Sudan’s western Darfur, now have basic social services.

"Relief efforts have significantly improved the overall situation in Darfur since 2004, but persistent instability and political stalemate means that children have little hope for any meaningful future," UNICEF country representative Ted Chaiban said in a U.N. report.

However, the U.N. announced Tuesday that about 1.25 million children remain unreachable because of security issues and their situations remains largely unknown.

In spite of the danger and insecurity, many Christian organizations remain in the region to care for the displaced persons in Darfur. A clinic run by Action by Churches Together (ACT), Caritas Internationalis, and Lutheran World Relief (LWR), for example, is one of the last health care centers remaining in the region that provides care for hundreds of people in the southern Darfur area.

In addition to LWR, ACT, and Caritas Internationalis, other Christians groups working in the region include the Persecution Project Foundation (PPF), World Relief, World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse.

"We're ramping up our efforts because we believe Christians need to show our brothers in Sudan that governments and NGO's may fail them, but God will continue to provide for his people through the ministry of His church," said Matt Chancey of PFF to Mission Network News (MNN) in late October.

The Sudanese government and the rebel groups are currently in Abuja – the Nigerian capital – for peace talks, where the U.N. hopes a resolution can be signed and the conflicts can come to a close.

"The parties involved in the 7th round of Peace Talks in Abuja have to find real political solutions to this conflict," UNICEF stated. "The time is now otherwise the current stalemate will persist in Darfur."