KHARTOUM, 21 January – Save the Children is appalled by the escalation of violence in West Darfur, which has led to 200 deaths and 300 injuries in just the past few days, and the displacement of 90,000 people. An estimated 90% of homes in the original displacement camps have been burned, destroying what little possessions families owned.
Save the Children’s Country Director in Sudan, Arshad Malik, said:
“We have a new humanitarian disaster on our hands. At least 18,000 families have been displaced, with tens of thousands of children now living in abandoned buildings or ramshackle displacement camps.
“Our staff have reported that at least 13 schools in Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, are being used as shelters for displaced families. These schools are not made for this kind of habitation, and we are very concerned about the water and sanitation situation of the families living in these buildings.
“We are deeply saddened by the deaths of three humanitarian workers in this violence, one of whom was killed with his family. Humanitarian workers put their lives on the line for the betterment of their communities, and it is a senseless tragedy when these lives are taken away.
"Save the Children condemns the killing of these three humanitarian workers and calls for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice. We call for all parties to cease hostilities and allow children and their families to return to some normalcy and stop fearing for their lives.”
Save the Children is planning to ramp up its humanitarian response in West Darfur in coming days, sending an Emergency Health Team to set up mobile clinics in areas with large numbers of displaced families. The team will also be distributing hygiene kits and establishing water and sanitation services to help prevent the spread of disease, as well as running mobile child protection services and a family tracing and reunification program.
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