On July 9, 2011, Sudan became two separate nations-Sudan and South Sudan. While decades of civil war have ended, unresolved conflicts persist in Sudan’s border areas. Due to a loss of oil revenue, Sudan is also embroiled in an economic crisis.
Meanwhile in Darfur, the conflict continues and the region remains the site of one of the world’s largest humanitarian operations.
One positive development is that, in areas where there is stability, the number of refugees and internally displaced people returning to their homes is on the rise. These families require support in order to rebuild their lives.
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Caritas Sudan, known as Sudanaid, was founded in 1972. It has played a major role in emergency aid, social welfare and development in a country where extreme poverty affects 8 in 10 people. The national office is currently non-operational.
However, Caritas Internationalis continues to provide relief and development operations through the dioceses of El Obeid and Khartoum and through its programmes in Darfur.
War broke out in Darfur region in 2003. It has remained one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises over the last decade. At least 3.4 million people in Darfur need humanitarian assistance today, a figure which includes 1.4 million displaced people (IDPs) in camps receiving food aid.
Life is difficult in the camps, but families receive health care, food, water and other essentials funded through Caritas and ACT Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox church organisations. The aim of the unique ecumenical coalition is to provide vital services to communities and help people become more self-sufficient.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member based in the USA) also currently serves more than 600,000 people in Khartoum and Darfur.