LibLink: Lynne Featherstone – Darfur is still suffering ten years after conflict began

Women in the Abu Shouk camp for displaced people, north Darfur, Sudan - Some rights reserved by DFID - UK Department for International DevelopmentJust back from a visit to Darfur, Lynne Featherstone writes on Huffpo about continuing concerns for the region:

Britain’s aid programme is about people, not numbers. But sometimes, the figures are so shocking it is impossible to escape them.

This year marks 10 years since the start of conflict in Darfur and the numbers speak for themselves. During 3,655 days of violence, hundreds of thousands have died, millions have been forced from their home and 2.7 million still rely on food aid for survival.

As we approach the grim anniversary of when violence began, I visited the war-ravaged region this week to see for myself the impact British aid is having on the ground. In many ways, the fact that I am only able to blog about it after returning from Darfur because of the security threat, speaks louder than any of the words I can write.

There is a lot to remain concerned about – the censorship of the media, the lack of access for NGOs and UN agencies to deliver development programmes, the recent closures of four leading NGOs in Sudan and the endless blame game. These are all issues I raised with the Government of Sudan.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is Wednesday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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