Montreal, Canada, Jul 6, 2004 / 22:00 pm
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has sent $170,000 to assist refugees in eastern Chad and the Darfur province of Sudan. The latest $100,000 aid package is in addition to $70,000 sent in June.
The response of the Canadian bishops development agency is part of an international effort by Caritas Internationalis — the Vatican’s international Catholic development and aid organization — which has launched a $24-million appeal for the people of Sudan.
Since the fighting began in 2003 between rebel groups – the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese government forces – more than two million people have been directly affected. One million people have been displaced.
The violence in Sudan has been described as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, and the situation has been condemned as one of ethnic cleansing through the use of mass rape, summary killings, and a "scorched earth" policy, which includes killing livestock and destroying crops.