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Friday, March 24, 2017
Aid flight sent to Sudan as crisis escalates
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¬†CAFOD partners began flying out vital aid supplies to Sudan over the weekend. The agency also began delivering non-food items to 20,000 people in Darfur in desperate need. Supplies include plastic sheeting for shelter as the rainy season gets underway and blankets for the cold nights. UN estimates that 300,000 people in the region are at risk if the necessary aid is not delivered. Head of CAFOD's Emergency Team in Darfur, Alistair Dutton, is in charge of the aid distribution on Saturday in Mershing in southern Darfur. Alistair said: "Southern Darfur has been one of the last places to be reached by aid agencies and this will be one of the first distributions of aid there. The rains are coming and soon we will be cut off from people. When the rains hit in early July, people will be isolated - we have to get programmes up and running now as time is running out. "With continuing conflict, lack of food, water and sanitation and with extreme temperatures we fear high levels of death. The international aid effort has to be increased many times if we're to avert a humanitarian disaster in Darfur." CAFOD has trebled its response. CAFOD's partners, Norwegian Church Aid, were flying in 41 tonnes of aid that due to reach Nyala, southern Darfur, on Sunday afternoon. The cargo included six tonnes of nutrition packed emergency food rations, 50 family tents, and 20 tonnes of plastic sheeting to shelter thousands of displaced people. A total of four Toyota vehicles equipped to travel over the poor roads as well as 15 erectable warehouses and offices was on board the plane. The Illusion 76 plane left Oslo yesterday (Sunday) morning at 6am and was due to arrive in Nyala in the afternoon, when NCA and CAFOD unloaded the goods ready for distribution. There will be a second CAFOD plane for Sudan next Friday containing a further £350,000 worth of similar supplies. The crisis in Darfur began early last year after two local rebel groups took up arms against the government of Sudan, claiming that the region was being neglected by Khartoum. While there has been a ceasefire between government and rebel forces in place since 8 April, fighting has escalated. There are now around 1.2 million people who have been displaced from the region by the conflict and a wider campaign of looting, killing and rape by a militia known as the Janjaweed.
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