Christian NGO goes back into Darfur

By October 22, 2007

Sudan (MNN) — Prospects for an end to violence in Darfur remain bleak, despite a United Nations plan to deploy more troops to the war-torn region.

Moreover, Darfur's rebels are meeting in South Sudan in hopes of forming a common agenda for October 27 peace talks in Tripoli, Libya. In the meantime, on Friday Sudanese forces were reportedly shelling the largest refugee camp in Darfur. The government acknowledges it has previously raided the camp, claiming rebels were based there.

There are some 13,000 relief workers trying to assist nearly four million people affected by violence. The United Nations says attacks on relief workers in Darfur increased 50% between June 2006 and June 2007. That has prompted groups like World Vision to temporarily pull out.   

One month ago, a World Vision aid convoy was ambushed near a small village in the region. Two World Vision International staff were shot in the head and a third in the arm. The other staff received minor injuries from glass and shrapnel. All are recuperating well from their injuries, but the incident caused World Vision to temporarily suspend their work until security improved.

World Vision resumed partial operations in Darfur on Saturday. WVI's Rachel Wolff explains the areas they're concentrating on. "What we're doing is focusing on life-saving services, food and health particularly, scaling down some of our other services unfortunately for the time being. But we're still trying to reach as many as possible of the half a million people that we serve."

The team distributes food (alongside emergency education, peace building, nutritional and food security projects) to about 250,000 internally displaced people across war-torn South Darfur and in rebel-controlled areas to the northeast and south.

World Vision is a Christian Non-Government Organization that's been well accepted in Darfur.  "As a faith-based organization, that's one way that we can build bridges. They see us, they know that we're there, motivated by our faith, and that's how we build bridges with other groups, and that's the case in Darfur."

Pray for peace in Darfur. Pray for the safety of the team working in the area. And pray for open hearts to the hope and peace of Christ. Click here if you can help.


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