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Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 11, 2008

The United States' Response to the Darfur Crisis

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“The brutal treatment of innocent civilians in Darfur is unacceptable – it is unacceptable to me, it is unacceptable to Americans, it’s unacceptable to the United Nations. This status quo must not continue.” — President George W. Bush


Attacks on the civilian population by the Janjaweed, often with the direct support of Government of Sudan forces, have led to the death of tens of thousands of people in Darfur, with an estimated two million internally displaced persons.

U.S. Policy Toward Darfur

  • The United States’ three main policy priorities in Darfur are:
    • The rapid deployment of the robust UN/African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), resulting in protection of civilians;
    • An immediate cease-fire and protection of and improved access for humanitarian workers; and
    • A political settlement for the Darfur crisis.
  • U.S. leadership helped secure in August 2006 the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1706 calling for deployment of a multinational UN force to Sudan.
  • The United States welcomed the Security Council’s unanimous passing of Resolution 1769, on July 31, 2007, which authorized the UN-AU hybrid force under UN command and control structures.
  • The United States supports the full implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, signed between the Government of Sudan and a rebel group in May 2006.

Robust Diplomatic Efforts

  • The United States has imposed economic sanctions on seven Sudanese individuals and more than 160 companies owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan or linked to militia to increase pressure on Khartoum to end the violence in Darfur.
  • President Bush, Secretary of State Rice, and other top diplomats have spoken repeatedly and personally with their international counterparts on this issue.
  • The United States has encouraged China to use its influence with Khartoum to work for a peaceful political settlement in Darfur.
  • President Bush appointed Richard S. Williamson as his Special Envoy on Sudan on December 21, 2007, in order to energize diplomatic solutions to the Darfur crisis.
  • The United States has maintained bilateral and multilateral sanctions on the Government of Sudan, including arms embargos, restrictions on imports from and exports to Sudan, and an assets freeze.

Humanitarian Aid

  • The United States is the largest donor of both food and non-food humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict in both Darfur and Eastern Chad.
  • Since fiscal year 2005, the United States has contributed more than $4 billion in humanitarian, development, peacekeeping, and reconstruction programs to the people of Sudan and Eastern Chad.
  • During the fiscal year 2008, the U.S. Agency for International Development contributed over $440 million, or half the entire emergency appeal, to the World Food Program to support emergency food aid in Sudan and Eastern Chad. In fiscal year 2007, USAID contributions to World Food Program emergency operations in Sudan and Eastern Chad totaled $377.7 million.

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