Caritas will help over half a million people in Sudan’s Darfur region this year as part of a US$9.6 million (7.3 million euro) programme.
Through its work with the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, a network of over 130 churches and related development organisations, Caritas will place a big focus on helping people become more self-sufficient.
“The joint ACT-Caritas programme provides badly needed basic services to people in Darfur year in year out. Now we’re making a big investment in livelihoods so people are more autonomous and communities can become more self-sufficient,” says Alistair Dutton, humanitarian director at Caritas and co-chair of the programme.
According to the UN, a total of 3.4 million people in Darfur are in need of humanitarian assistance. This figure includes 1.4 million displaced people (IDPs) in camps receiving food aid.
ACT-Caritas will continue to build community resilience by investing in water and sanitation, health, nutrition, education, social integration and other development programmes.
Projects such as the replacement of fuel-powered water pumping systems with solar powered systems mean that communities will save money and will not be so reliant on outside factors for their access to water.
Another focus will be ensuring people have access to agricultural training as well as seeds, tools and cash grants.
Caritas began to work in Darfur in 2004 after a conflict between rebels and the Government led to a massive humanitarian emergency.
A shift in Sudanese Government policy means that aid workers from South Sudan had to return home last year. There will be a further shift to put aid programmes in the hands of local agencies this year. ACT-Caritas has been giving increasing support and training to local Sudanese partners who will be accompanying Darfuris in the future.
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