A worsening humanitarian crisis
Aid agencies are struggling to cope with the worsening state of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Christopher Hands reports on the implications to health
Darfur is in ruins. The people who do not fight live in fear of men with guns. When groups come to raid, they burn villages, kill livestock, torch fields, and destroy infrastructure. They kill and mutilate men, rape and kill women, and abduct children-probably for use as child soldiers. Since the rebellion started in 2001 in Darfur, in western Sudan, more than 200 000 people have died, although the real death toll is likely to be much higher, and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced.
In March 2004 Mukesh Kapila, the outgoing United Nations' president and humanitarian coordinator for Sudan, called the situation in Darfur, western Sudan, the “world's greatest humanitarian crisis.” Jonathan Henry, who was until recently project coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Muhajariya, north Darfur, was clear that the terror has not abated: “MSF continues to witness daily new violence and significant displacement of