July 6, 2004
The situation in Darfur is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, according to the United Nations. War has displaced more than 1 million people in western Sudan and more than 100,000 others have fled across the border into Chad.
War has displaced more than 1 million people in the western Sudan region of Darfur, forcing them into makeshift camps; more than 100,000 others have fled across the border into Chad. Those affected have experienced looting; their homes, crops and livestock have been destroyed; they have witnessed executions of civilians; mass rape of women and girls is common. People in the camps are living in deplorable conditions; diseases such as cholera, meningitis and polio threaten those most at risk, including infants, sick children and the elderly.
An 18-month ecumenical effort is underway to provide food, medicines, water supplies and sanitation, as well as seeds, tools and psycho-social counseling to 500,000 of the most vulnerable persons in the Darfur region, including 50,000 children.
The United Church of Christ, as members of Church World Service and Action by Churches Together, is responding to this crisis by working with the Sudan Council of Churches and Norwegian Church Aid. Also involved in the efforts is Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief development and social service organizations.
An initial gift from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering has been made. An additional $250,000 in designated gifts is sought from UCC members and friends.
$80 will provide a family of five with: two plastic sheets, three blankets, two mosquito nets, one household kit (consisting of cooking supplies) one water can, and 10 bars of soap. Also: 40 oz. of fortified cereal per day and 8 oz. each of oil and sugar. In addition: a package of seeds and tools and will have access to basic health care through regional clinics.
$818 will provide sanitation assistance, including: one toilet per four families (20 persons), and a well or borehole, which will serve up to 250 persons.
How you can help
1. Pray for peace for the people of Sudan.sudan,sudan,sudan,sudan
2. To assist those affected, make gifts payable to your UCC Congregation, marked for "Sudan/Darfur Crisis" in the memo portion, and send to your Conference Office with a note asking that the gift be forwarded to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
3. Make gifts payable to Wider Church Ministries, marked in the memo portion "Sudan/Darfur Crisis" and send to: Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation now by clicking on the Sudan/Darfur Crisis Appeal button on this page.
5. Advocate on behalf of the people of Sudan. Contact President Bush through UCC Take Action: www.ucctakeaction.org/action/