In response to the $200 million pledged to the African Union force at Tuesday’s donor conference, a group of leading international aid agencies (CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, IRC, Oxfam and Tearfund) working in Darfur issued the following joint statement. “Yesterday donors were asked to respond generously to the desperate situation in Darfur, but instead the African Union force is still $150 million short of what it asked for. The African Union force is the only protection civilians have in Darfur, yet due in part to the lack of funding, many of their patrols have stopped and come nightfall the troops retreat to barracks. Even if the money pledged is delivered, according to the chairperson of the African Union it will only keep the mission afloat until September. What then? If donors continue to opt for protection on the cheap, it will be the men, women and children of Darfur who will pay the price. With few exceptions, the AU is still dependent on just five donors (the UK, US, the EU, Canada and the Netherlands) for the vast bulk of funding for the force. We urge all the other donor countries who are concerned about what is happening in Darfur to donate generously and work with the African Union to ensure we avert an even greater catastrophe.”
Skeptics will undoubtedly question whether any of this will make any difference in Africa. Frankly, we cannot be sure, but we do know we must do all we can. And there is this broader point: The Darfur exhibit at the Freedom Center is intended to motivate and inspire personal action in defense of freedom. Darfur today is a sobering, tragic example of freedom denied – a place where basic human rights are being trampled. Anyone who believes in freedom cannot help but become engaged in trying to stop the slaughter.
We must do all we can becaue to do otherwise is unthinkable.
I’m glad to see the money given by the U.S.
The lives now being lost in the Middle East not withstanding the loss of life in Darfur is significant and we need to see the forest despite the trees.
The rest of the world needs to do the same.