The Mother of Mercy Catholic Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan was the target of repeated bombings by the Sudanese Government late last week. The hospital, which is located in the conflict-ridden region of Southern Kordofan near the border with South Sudan, is the only medical centre in the area.
Latest update: June 11, 2014
Development and Peace has been responding to the long and complex emergency situation in Sudan for over 25 years.
Over the years, it has contributed over $5 million, including funding from the Government of Canada, to put in place several initiatives aimed at easing the suffering of those caught in the crossfire of the many conflicts in Sudan.
Here are some of our actions in Sudan:
2013-Present – Diocese of El Obeid
Development and Peace is supporting the activities of the Mother of Mercy Catholic Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, in partnership with the Diocese of El Obeid. It is one of the only hospitals in the region and its activities, which include the provision of health care services, the construction of latrines, and the distribution of sanitation and hygiene items, such as soap and jerry cans to transport water, are critical to the population.
2004-Present – Norwegian Church Aid (ACT-Caritas)
Development and Peace has been part of the NCA Darfur emergency response program, an ecumenical alliance between Norwegian Church Aid, Action by Churches and Caritas Internationalis, for over 10 years. It is one of the largest humanitarian aid efforts in the region, and is providing much-needed aid to thousands of displaced people living in camps. From 2008 to 2013, Development and Peace received over $5.5 million in funding from the Canadian government to implement nutritional and medical components of the emergency program. Although government funding for this program ended in 2013, Development and Peace continues to be an active partner in this program.
Here are some of the activities carried out through this program:
- Between 2004 and 2009, over 200,000 people per year received emergency kits, received health and nutritional services, and saw improved hygiene and sanitation in camps, including access to clean water. In addition, 10,000 children per year were able to attend school.
- Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 130,000 people per year, particularly mothers and children, received medical consultations and nutritional supplements. During this time, six health clinics and four nutritional centres were renovated.
- Due to an increase in displacements in 2013, the current focus is on emergency preparedness for the most vulnerable populations. There are 180,000 people who are being supported with the distribution of materials for emergency shelters and non-food items. Disaster reduction committees are also being trained so that communities are better equipped to respond to emergency situations.
2003-2011 – SECADEV (Caritas Chad)
Over several years, Development and Peace and its partner SECADEV (Caritas Chad) provided essential aid for Sudanese refugees in Chad, including access to water, financing for small businesses and agricultural projects.
2006-2009 – Terres des Hommes
Development and Peace collaborated with this organization in three refugee camps in Darfur to help with the construction of shelters, ensure the safety of children, provide micro-finance loans and organize educational and recreational activities for children.
Latest update: June 11, 2014
The African country of Sudan has rarely known peace in its modern history. Since gaining independence in 1956, the country has experienced conflict in nearly all of its regions, particularly in the South and in the province of Darfur in the West. Over the years, this has led to the displacement of millions of Sudanese and has created a prolonged humanitarian crisis that continues to create immense poverty and suffering for the population.
A long civil war between the North, which is mainly Muslim, and the South, which is mainly Christian, effectively came to an end in 2005, when a peace treaty was signed allowing for the South to hold a referendum for independence. An overwhelming majority of the population voted in favour, and the Republic of South Sudan was created in 2011. However, there is still ongoing fighting along the border between both countries, including bombings in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions by Sudanese forces. The situation has been made all the more fragile by the arrival of thousands of refugees from South Sudan experiencing violence in their own country. In addition, the oil-rich province of Abyei is still disputed, which is also contributing to violence and insecurity.
In Darfur, the situation dramatically deteriorated in 2003 when rebel groups declared war against the government due to ethnic divisions. Banditry and the pillaging of villages became a widespread phenomenon that forced millions to flee their homes and move into camps. Despite attempts at peace treaties, insecurity continues to plague the region, and few have returned to their villages. The long-term settlement of people in camps prevents improvements in health, education and stable living conditions.
Adding to the suffering of the population are restrictive policies placed on humanitarian aid agencies by the Government of Sudan that prevents most agencies from operating in the country. This has made access to aid incredibly difficult for those who need it.
The instability, multiple conflicts and lack of development in the country have created a chronic humanitarian crisis with the following impacts on the population:
- There are 3.5 million people in Darfur in need of humanitarian aid.
- Two-thirds of children in Darfur suffer from malnutrition.
- There are 1.2 million people in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile regions in need of aid.
- There are 81,000 refugees that have arrived from South Sudan since December 2013.
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