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AusAID provides Red Cross with $2 million to continue work in Darfur

Tuesday July 17, 2007

lady carrying bag
AusAID, the Australian Federal Government's international aid agency, is contributing $2 million to Australian Red Cross to support its ongoing response to the devastating humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Australian Red Cross, with British Red Cross, is running two therapeutic feeding centres for malnourished children in Gereida camp, one of Darfur's largest displaced persons camps where over 100,000 people remain in urgent need of food, water, healthcare and sanitation.

Red Cross is the only aid organisation with international staff still based in the camp after violence late last year saw all other international humanitarian agencies withdraw expatriate staff from the region.

The Red Cross program has been running since 2004. Australian Red Cross raised $1.1 million through its appeal for Sudan in 2004-05 and since then has sent out more than 15 aid workers to operate the nutritional centre.

'This generous donation will allow Red Cross to continue its vital aid work in response to one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters,' said Robert Tickner, CEO of Australian Red Cross.

'People in Gereida camp are some of the most vulnerable displaced people in the world. We must make every effort to keep people alive and safe until the security situation improves. This funding will allow us to do just that.'

The AusAID contribution will allow the feeding centre to continue undertaking around 500 patient consultations every day and feeding more than 700 malnourished children every week. The program also supports a basic healthcare clinic, water and sanitation, and a nutrition outreach team which works towards the prevention and early detection of malnutrition and disease in the community.