As I dart away from a donkey’s hoofs, I almost catch my hip on another cart jockeying for position. I slip to the side to make way for a man carrying a 100-pound bag of sorghum, the most common local grain. Then I realize I’m just getting in the way. These families are picking up their monthly food distributions, and they don’t need a casual observer blocking transport of their heavy loads.
During the last two months, Catholic Relief Services has started to work in the Southern Corridor of West Darfur while continuing our activities in El Geneina and the Northern Corridor. Our aim is to help fill gaps around Habila and Mukjar resulting from the recent expulsion of aid agencies from Sudan. Our primary activities are the ones we excel at in the north: emergency food distributions, distributions of non-food items, seed and tool fairs, and sanitation and hygiene initiatives.
The food distributed today will last most families 12 to 14 days. Fortunately, we’re also getting seeds and tools into the hands of conflict-afflicted residents in southern communities this week, enabling them to grow some crops to supplement their rations. In the meantime though, when the rations run out, displaced families will have to work dawn to dusk making mud bricks or collecting grass or firewood to sell—earning a few dollars each at most for their efforts.
— Reported by Debbie DeVoe, CRS’ regional information officer for Eastern and Southern Africa
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