The World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency reported that
6,000 to 10,000 people are dying every month in the internally displaced
person (IDP) camps in Darfur, due to mostly starvation and disease. The WHO
survey results confirm an estimate of a total death toll of 50,000 in the Darfur
region since the start of the conflict 19 months ago.
Half to three-quarters of the deaths among children under five were linked to
diarrhea, which is often caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. The
WHO reports that “…the crowded conditions in the settlements, shortage of
clean water, inadequate latrines, insufficient soap, and the mire caused by
rain-soaked mud mingling with excrement, have combined to make hygiene an
impossible goal for people living in small, tarpaulin-covered huts.”
The U.S. Agency for International Development has warned that the death
toll could surge to 350,000 or more if aid doesn’t reach some 2 million people
Islamic Relief Worldwide is currently operating two camps for internally
displaced persons in Darfur, which currently number more than one million
people. The camps, known as Al-Riyad and Kerinding II, are administered in
coordination with the United Nations, and provide beneficiaries with food,
water, shelter, healthcare, and education.
Islamic Relief Worldwide is monitoring the situation on a continuous basis to
assess the needs of the displaced people.
Arif Shaikh, Director of Media and Public Relations for Islamic Relief USA
visited Darfur in April, and is available for comment or interview.