Our response

Development and Peace has been responding to the long and complex emergency situation in Sudan for over 25 years.

In 2003, when tensions in Darfur turned into conflict, the local population faced a dire humanitarian situation. This led to concerted action between humanitarian groups, including an ecumenical coalition between Caritas Internationalis and ACT (Action by Churches) to form the ACT-Caritas Darfur Emergency Response, one of the largest humanitarian aid efforts in the region.

Development and Peace actively supports programs and activities organized by this coalition, as well as those of other partners, such as Caritas Chad, who are addressing the urgent needs of refugees and host communities in Chad, and the needs of millions who are vulnerable in Darfur.

The crisis in Southern Sudan is also a priority for Development and Peace, and we are supporting several initiatives to bring humanitarian aid to those affected by violence and food insecurity.

Development and Peace’s actions in Sudan include:

  • Support to the Act-Caritas Darfur Emergency Response, which has helped repair 24 clinics and hospitals, establish 170 water distribution points and provide medical assistance, food aid, basic necessities, as well as education programs, psychological counselling and peace building activities to 300,000 people in South and West Darfur.
  • Responding to the specific needs of children by supporting  a large school-building and renovation program and collaborating on a program with Terre des Hommes that provided psychosocial services to children dealing with trauma from the conflict;
  • Helping almost 500,000 people in Darfur between 2005 and 2007 by distributing tents and basic necessities, and providing sanitation and health services;
  • Since 2010, Development and Peace has been supporting four health clinics and five nutrition centres in South and West Darfur, thanks to a partnership with CIDA. The clinics provide medical consultations, pre- and post-natal check-ups, nutrition and health workshops, and treatment for malnutrition. It is estimated that 180,500 people will benefit from the services offered.
  • In partnership with SUDANAID, Development and Peace is contributing to the distribution of food kits, shelter and other basic necessities in Western Equatoria and supporting programs to address severe food insecurity in Eastern Equatoria.

The humanitarian crisis in Sudan continues to have dire repercussions on local populations, who have had to adapt to living under the constant threat of conflict. They are now striving to form new communities, to regain their livelihoods, to feed their families, and to find peace and dignity in such difficult circumstances. Development and Peace is committed to standing by them through this ongoing crisis, which must not be forgotten.

The situation

The African country of Sudan, the largest on the continent, has rarely known peace in its modern history. There has been an ongoing civil war between the Northern and Southern parts of the country since the mid-1950s. The brutal conflicts of this civil war have caused millions of deaths, displacements and the destruction of communities, particularly in Southern Sudan, where much of the fighting has occurred.

In 2003, the situation in Sudan worsened when a new conflict broke out between rebel groups and government troops in the province of Darfur. Despite the signing of a peace agreement in 2006, this has not resulted in improvements in the health, stability or living conditions of those caught in the crossfire of the conflict, and prevailing violence and poverty continue to ravage their lives.

The conflict in Darfur has had some of the following devastating impacts:

  • Since 2003, 4.7 million people have been affected by the conflict;
  • Over 2.7 million people have been displaced and as violence persists, numbers continue to rise;
  • An estimated 200,000 people have fled to neighbouring Chad, placing significant strains on resources in host communities in that country;
  • Although conflict-related fighting has diminished, communities remain vulnerable to rampant crime and banditry.

In Southern Sudan, a peace agreement signed in 2005 paved the way for the return of 2 million displaced people. However, signs of lasting peace have been fleeting, and in 2009, the situation began to deteriorate due to renewed fighting between communities and incursions from the African rebel group the Lord’s Army of Resistance (LRA). Large-scale displacements combined with consecutive droughts have led to food shortages for an estimated 3 million people. 

The expulsion of several national and international NGOs from Sudan in 2009 has substantially diminished the amount of available aid in the country. Development and Peace’s partners in Sudan have been able to continue operating, but with even greater needs in front of them, which Development and Peace is committed to helping them address.
The coming year will be a decisive one for Sudan. A referendum on the question of independence for the South will take place in January 2011. The outcome of this political event could finally make way for peace in the country or plunge it into a new cycle of conflict.

Latest News
July 9, 2011

In a gesture of solidarity towards the new country of South Sudan and to the Caritas Internationalis network committed to its full development, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (Development and Peace) is contributing $250,000 to improve access to basic services, water, food shelter, health and education for returnees, internally displaced persons, and other vulnerable populations.

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