Date published: 28 March 2008
Two million people risk being cut off from vital assistance including food aid in Sudan if immediate funding is not secured for vital air services. A statement signed by fourteen international aid agencies, including World Vision, reveals that long-term funds are urgently needed and they warn of dire consequences if air services are halted.
The statement follows on from concern expressed earlier this week by UN agencies over an alarming increase in the number of attacks by bandits against people carrying out humanitarian work in the strife-torn region of Darfur.
The UN's World Food Programme (WFP), who World Vision partners with to deliver food aid to hundreds of thousands of people in South Darfur, has recently experienced several attacks on trucks delivering food.
According to the aid agencies, the ongoing conflict in Darfur has left over 4 million people in need of assistance yet they are finding it more difficult than ever to reach them, due to almost daily hijackings of vehicles delivering humanitarian aid and targeted attacks on aid workers.
In the statement, the agencies express relief at an announcement that new funding will enable the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) to continue flying for one more month but warned that this was only a short-term reprieve.
"Much of our work meeting the enormous humanitarian and development needs across Sudan would not be possible without these flights. While we are relieved that donors have provided this new short-term support, we are greatly concerned that such an essential service still only has funding secured for four more weeks. A service upon which millions of people depend should not have to fear for its future every month," the agencies say.