21 July 2004

MRDF Sudan appeal tops £16,000

Methodist charity thanks all who have given

The Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) has raised over £16,000 for the Sudan since it launched its appeal on 24 June. The funds raised by MRDF are going directly to aid body Action by Churches Together (ACT) to meet urgent needs for shelter, food and clean water in the refugee camps in Darfur and neighbouring Chad.
Sarah Hagger of MRDF said: "We would like to thank everyone who has responded so generously and rapidly to MRDF's Sudan appeal. Your gifts have gone directly to help people in desperate need of aid. The Disasters' Emergency Committee appeal, launched this week, shows that the need has not gone away but has got more acute. A huge effort is still required by all agencies to help the people of Darfur."

3,000 people, who were sheltering together in a school compound for fear of Janjaweed militia attacks, are now safe in Um Gozen camp. Here, ACT partners have provided water pumps, simple building materials for shelters and a medical centre to treat diseases such as malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Mariam Adam is one of those now living at Um Gozen, after her farm and village were attacked. During the shooting, she was separated from three of her children and her husband was shot and wounded. She is now reunited with her children and they have food and shelter in the camp, but she says: "They are still damaged by what has happened to them. They don't talk much; they don't answer my questions. They have heard too many big guns."

Life is harsh and basic at Um Gozen, but it is safe and better equipped than most other camps. Families, like Mariam's, fleeing from violence, are arriving daily at different camps, with little shelter or clean water and serious risk from disease and malnutrition.

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