Calling Planet Earth: Sudan Needs You

How many people have to die before the world takes Sudan seriously?

Jane writes:

Where is the noise, the rumbling, the Al Gore outburst regarding the Sudan? Where's the vocal, blustering intellectual-academic-media contingent? Where are the Arab Street and Rush Limbaugh? As the world averted its eyes from the hacking machetes in Rwanda, we turn our back again on Africa. A half a million Sudanese people may die at the hands of their own government within short months and there's little screaming; we barely hear a word. Sudanese sovereignty will not be breached.

In the last year the Sudanese government has been killing its own people systematically. ...

Today's CNN story says:

For several months my colleague, Dr. Camilo Valderrama, has been raising alarm about the need for regular food distributions in this area, where nearly a fourth of the refugees that fled to Chad are seeking shelter.

It's May 12 and Camilo is attending to Hadiya Beshir Issa, 25, and her 15-month-old daughter Munira at an IRC health facility in Bahai. They are recent arrivals in a seemingly endless stream of refugees fleeing brutal attacks in Darfur, Sudan.

Munira hardly has the strength to open her eyes and her skin is shriveled from dehydration. Camilo says the tiny girl is severely malnourished and he instructs Hadiya how to administer oral re-hydration solution and antibiotics.

Hadiya is from a village near Kutum in northern Darfur, where the IRC is also providing humanitarian aid. She told me that a militia attacked her village last August and that her family fled to the town of Orshi, on the way to Chad.

But that town was ransacked by gunmen last month and in the chaos, Hadiya became separated from her husband and the rest of her family. She told me that she has no idea if they are still alive. After an eight-day trek, she crossed into Chad with her baby, arriving in Bahai with 17 other families.

As Hadiya recounted her story, Camilo continued to treat Munira. But in the next couple of hours, the little girl's condition rapidly deteriorated. We quickly took her to the hospital in Tine, two hours away, but doctors there couldn't even find the child's veins in order to administer intravenous liquid. She was beyond help. ...

In the BBC:

UN Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Jan Egeland said many donors failed to realise that the crisis was the biggest humanitarian drama of our time.

He said the UN still only had a 20% of the resources needed to help 2m people.

Mr Egeland criticised the Sudanese government for making it difficult for them to bring in trucks and medicines. ...

A report last month by the UN human rights commissioner described systematic attacks on villages by the Sudanese government and the militias, known as the Janjaweed, who killed, raped and looted.

Here's the link to donate to UNICEF-USA.

One of my favorite humanitarian organizations is American Jewish World Service. Information on their Sudan appeal is here.

If there's another humanitarian group that you prefer, donate to them. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.