Since 2003, the Darfur Crisis continues to be one of the world’s largest concentrations of human suffering. The region has a population of 7.5 million people and over 30 ethnic groups with over 60% of the population living in rural areas. The Darfur Crisis is a complex emergency that is a mixture of civil war, ethnic conflict, drought and a degradation of natural resources.
The Current Situation:
It is more than five years since the start of the Darfur crisis. Today the situation is as desperate as ever. The sheer scale of suffering is incredible, and the numbers of people affected are higher than ever before:
- Over 4.5 million people in Darfur and eastern Chad now rely on humanitarian aid
2.7 million people – more than one third of Darfurians – have been internally displaced
A further quarter of a million refugees are housed in 12 refugee camps in Chad near the border
In 2009 alone, a further 140,000 people were newly displaced
Another 185,000 Chadian people have fled their homes as the conflict increasingly spills over into Chad. The number of Chadians displaced by violence has quadrupled in the past year
In 2010 and 2011, Oxfam Canada will be supporting Oxfam America's project to reduce the vulnerabilities of local people by socially empowering communities and by helping communities sustainably manage their resources. Oxfam will aim to:
- ensure 239,00 displaced people and rural residents have safe and equitable access to water
- provide 345,800 people have access to safe and appropriate sanitary facilities
- promote effective hygiene practices to 363,000 beneficiaries by educating them about sanitation and diseases
- improve access to food and income for 123,000 people
- help reduce the risk of sexual assault by providing more than 6000 women training workshops and with fuel efficient stoves so they do not have leave the security of camps to find firewood
- improve access to humanitarian assistance for 226,000 beneficiaries by improving their knowledge of available assistance
Throughout the crisis Oxfam staff has provided vital assistance to over 500,000 people affected by the crisis, both in Darfur and eastern Chad.
- Oxfam has provided essential access to clean, safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as basic necessities such as blankets soaps and jerry cans for carrying water.
- Oxfam has carried out public health education programs to try and prevent the spread of disease.
- As the conflict persists, refugee camps become permanent and people are seeking ways to improve their livelihood. Oxfam has implemented projects and is continuing to assist vulnerable people develop livelihood opportunities to reduce their reliance on external aid.