An early a.m. flight brought us to Juba in south Sudan. We swapped planes at the airport and headed straight for Nyala, the capital of South Darfur.
After arriving, we met up with the World Food Programme (WFP) and visited an IDP camp called Otash.
USAID, through the WFP and its NGO partners like World Vision, provides emergency relief supplies to the 71,000 Dafuris living in Otash. The camp was established in 2004 and was originally home to 15,000 IDPs. It grew to its current size after large scale displacements in 2004 following fighting between the Government of Sudan and Darfuri rebels, and more recently, in 2008 after the outbreak of tribal conflict.
Since 2003, USAID has helped to meet the immediate needs of millions of people affected by the conflict in Darfur. Today, in the three states of Darfur there are some two million people living in IDP camps.
Our support is sustaining programs in health, nutrition, water and sanitation, shelter and other basic needs for populations like Otash across the region. The humanitarian situation in Darfur has stabilized overall, but large pockets of instability persist and continue to force people from their homes and restrict the movements of both aid workers and IDPs.
There is much work to be done, but the relief programs we visited today are working in challenging conditions to meet immediate needs. Americans can be proud of this work and the generosity that sustains it.