Caritas Preparing for Rainy Season in Darfur

ROME, MAY 5, 2005 ( The Catholic charity Caritas is implementing an intensive plan to help the thousands of displaced Sudanese in the Darfur region as the rainy season approaches.

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The organization’s work is being coordinated with that of the Action by Churches Together (ACT), a global alliance of denominations and related agencies.

Caritas/ACT community centers in various camps for the displaced are being furnished with clinics, schools, and food distribution points, in anticipation of the rains.

Waterproof deposits for the storage of food and medicine are also being prepared for the next three months, as once the rains come, roads will be impassable.

«All our installations in western and southern Darfur are being equipped to cope with the approaching rains,» said Brian Martin, head of the Caritas/Act programs in the Sudanese region.

Hundreds of tons of plastic sheeting have been distributed in the camps to protect the temporary shelters during the rains.

In the first phase of emergency aid in the Darfur region, the ACT/Caritas consortium has given urgent help to 500,000 refugees, 7% of the displaced population in the area, for a total of 14 million euros ($18.1 million).

About 75,000 families have been given temporary shelter and domestic equipment.

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