Office of the Spokesman
May 8, 2006
Humanitarian Situation in Darfur
The United States continues to be the largest single international donor to Sudan, providing 85 percent of the food distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) thus far in 2006, more than $300 million in other humanitarian assistance for Darfur, and $1.3 billion in FY 2005 funds overall to both Darfur and other regions of Sudan. With the assistance of funds provided through the FY 2006 supplemental request, the United States plans to provide half of WFP’s estimated requirements for Sudan in 2006. We are a proactive voice in humanitarian issues such as violence against women in Darfur and unhindered humanitarian access.
Due to resource shortfalls, the World Food Program (WFP) has been forced to cut rations by over 50 percent in Darfur beginning in May for up to 2.8 million beneficiaries in order to extend existing food stocks through the upcoming rainy season (through August) and avoid a complete break during this critical time period. The United States – having so far provided more than 85 percent of the food delivered to Sudan – is urging international donors to increase their food donations to assist in alleviating this problem. The FY 2006 supplemental request includes an additional $150 million in food aid for Darfur and $75 million in food aid for other parts of Sudan.
The United States is taking numerous steps to help enable WFP to restore full food aid rations in June and July, including immediately shipping 2,850 MT of non-cereal commodities, valued at $5.1 million, to Sudan; diverting five vessels en route to Dubai directly to Port Sudan for food operations in Darfur; and undertaking an emergency purchase of 40,000 MT of cereal commodities, valued at $36.2 million, for rapid, direct shipment to Sudan. Despite these actions, immediate gaps in food assistance will remain. The Government of National Unity and other major donors must continue to take action with the United States in helping relieve the suffering of people in Darfur.
The United States has funded $16.8 million in program initiatives aimed at alleviating the crisis of violence against women in Darfur. We are funding rape crisis centers, media campaigns, and grants aimed at community-based protection activities that address the root causes of violence against women and provide immediate protection to potential victims.
The United States has worked to maintain and broaden operating space for the humanitarian community in order to facilitate the delivery of assistance in Darfur. We commend the tireless work of humanitarian organizations in Darfur, and we will continue to support their efforts.