ME and Ophelia

Friday, June 04, 2004

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"This crisis is eminently soluble. It can be stopped and its impact can be reversed. I repeat to you again: This crisis can end and can end quickly."

Yesterday, at an emergency donor meeting in the wonderful surroundings of Geneva, the UN appealed for $236m to help the people of Darfur. The US pledged $188 million, 10 million euros from the EU, and US $4.4m from Canada.

In return, here's what the UN came up with: a 90-day action plan; despatch of an eight human rights officers (6 to Darfur and 2 to Khartoum); and an offer to work closely with the African Union to ensure that a human rights observer component is included in their ceasefire monitoring mission to Darfur.

For the record, these two excerpts are from the UN Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights' Statement presented at yesterday's donor meeting on Darfur (the wording of the second I find most odd), quote:

(1) "the crisis is eminently soluble. It can be stopped and its impact - for the refugees and other displaced - can be reversed. I repeat to you again: this crisis can end and can end quickly. Now is the time and here is the place when our collective commitment to bring it to an end must be realised through practical and constructive means."

(2) "While it is common sense to us all that humanitarian assistance and adequate protection are two sides of the same coin, we need to put this common sense fully into action. No more can we countenance hearing stories of the displaced appealing for the non-delivery of assistance as a means to ensure their greater security from further pillage and violence."
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Best case scenario: 330,000 dead

Excerpt from Passion of the Present's June 4, 2004 : Sudan

"We estimate right now if we get relief in, we'll lose a third of a million people, and if we don't the death rates could be dramatically higher, approaching a million people," - Andrew Natsios, the head of USAID, speaking at yesterday's UN donor meeting on Darfur.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/04/2004
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