BURBANK, California (July 22, 2004) – Heavy rainfall in the Darfur region has

begun, further worsening the humanitarian crisis that the United Nations has

called the ‘world’s greatest.’ Over one million people are currently displaced in

Darfur, and another 130,000 people have sought shelter in camps in

neighboring Chad. Aid agencies in the region have estimated that as many as

300,000 may die by December due to starvation and disease.

The humanitarian need in Darfur is enormous. Many of the displaced people

have no shelter at all, while others are living under trees or simple straw

mats. Child malnutrition is on the rise as food is scarce, and even the locals

have exhausted food stocks. The current rainy season is adding to the misery

of the displaced people. There are no sanitation facilities in the camps,

increasing the potential for diseases such as dysentery and cholera.

Islamic Relief Worldwide has set up an emergency field office in the town of

Al-Junaynah (also spelled ‘El Geneina’) in West Darfur, where it is managing

the Al-Riyadh Internally Displaced People camp. In that particular camp,

around seventy percent of the households are headed by women. The

population of camp is steadily increasing, and is expected to hold around

40,000 people. Islamic Relief Worldwide is currently providing food, shelter,

education, and water and sanitation to the displaced population.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, Islamic Relief Worldwide has also

signed an agreement to implement United Nations World Food Program (UN

WFP) School Feeding Programs across West Darfur in partnership with the

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Islamic Relief USA representative Arif Shaikh, who recently returned from

Darfur on a humanitarian mission, is available for comment or interview.

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