24 June 2009

Sudan: Catholic Aid Agency Warns of Permanent Crisis

Darfur — The Catholic humanitarian agency, Caritas Internationalis, has warned that the crisis in South Sudan is getting out of hand and could result to a permanent catastrophe.

Speaking after a meeting between Catholic Church leaders from Sudan, Caritas members working in Sudan and donors on June 22 to 23 at Caritas Internationalis Headquarters, the leaders warned that insecurity both in Darfur and increasingly so in South Sudan risks further destabilizing the region and creating greater levels of suffering.

"Sudan faces a lot of challenges. There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. People don't have access to healthcare, education, water and protection from high levels of violence," Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio said.

"Caritas and the church are the only sources of education, health and social services in many places," said the bishop.

The meeting aimed to create a common strategy for Caritas members and its Church partners in Sudan to deliver aid in the most effective way.

A shaky peace holds in the South Sudan and half of the 4 million refugees who fled decades of fighting have returned to their homes. However, the number of killings is now believed to have overtaken Darfur where 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million uprooted.

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