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As Ceasefire Efforts Continue, Humanitarian Crisis Worsens in Sudan's Darfur Region - 2004-04-13


As efforts continue to try to secure a ceasefire in western Sudan?s Darfur region, hundreds of thousands of displaced people remain in need of emergency aid. Many of their villages have been destroyed in fighting between rebels and the government and its Arab militia allies.

The one international humanitarian group that?s been able to operate in Darfur is Doctors Without Borders. However, its clinics are few in number and its staff is small.

Helping coordinate relief efforts in Darfur is Mercedes Tatay of the French branch of Doctors Without Borders. From Paris, she told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua that ceasefire talks haven?t changed conditions in the region. She says, ?Well, in fact, it?s maybe too, too soon to expect changes to become real on the field. So I must say that we really haven?t felt an improvement?.today we are still talking about more than 270,000 displaced people that MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is able to see in west Darfur area.?

She says there are reports that another 200,000 are displaced elsewhere. Ms. Tatay says, ?The humanitarian assistance that has been provided as for now is absolutely insufficient. The fears we had about epidemics have become real and we are extremely, extremely concerned because the malnutrition rate, after a measles epidemic? would become even worse.? She says more humanitarian assistance is desperately needed now and for the foreseeable future.

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