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Disease, malnutrition, starvation and thirst are great killers in the genocide in Sudan.

By March 17, 2005

Sudan (MNN) — The horrors of the genocide in Sudan are still becoming known. Thousands have been violently attacked and killed, villages ambushed, and an estimated 2 million people are refugees. But those surviving the attacks are fleeing from violence and into starvation and death. The refugee camps are plagued by disease and a lack of food, water and sanitation.

The United Nations has recently updated their estimates that at least 180,000 people have died in non-conflict deaths in the Darfur region over the past 18 months.

Ben Homan, president of Food for the Hungry, says, “The world needs to come to grips with the intensity of the death toll, the tragedy that as many as 10,000 people a month are dying of malnutrition and starvation.”

Food for the Hungry’s focus is humanitarian aid and being the hands and feet of Jesus to hurting people. In the words of St. Francis of Assissi, says Homan, Food for the Hungry tries to “Preach the Gospel all the time, and sometimes, use words.” They have done that through going in to stabilize the essential services of water, sanitation, food and health components of what people are experiencing in Darfur.

Christians need to respond, says Homan, and “People in the west need to have an understanding that this is one of the greatest humanitarian crises in our time. And the west has a responsibility to stand up and to say ‘this is not just’ and the specific violence should stop, but the slow death of tens of thousands of people should stop as well.”

Their desire is to rescue people from death by providing needed physical care, while hoping for opportunities to provide spiritual care as well. “We need to be thinking strategically and thinking very carefully about how we preserve life, and how we gain a day when we’ll be able to sit down with people and hear their hearts and share our hearts and our love for Christ.”

Homan asks for prayer, as the situation in Sudan is still one of unrest and dangerous even for the humanitarian aid workers. Additionally, says Homan, “the other thing I’d pray for is for the eyes of the world to focus on Sudan. What needs to change in Sudan is more and more attention throughout the world on this being a very significant crisis. And right now, I think it’s not being given the attention that it needs.”

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