VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Sudan in 2010: Working for peace and security amidst historic political change
December 31, 2010 by George Rupp
|In villages across Southern Sudan, new clinics and water wells have become gathering places for neighbors yearning for a peaceful resolution to next month's independence referendum. Photo: Christopher Scott/IRC|
The people of Southern Sudan endured a brutal civil war that lasted 22 years and left behind a ruined landscape and a traumatized population. Now, the January 2011 independence referendum is presenting new threats and uncertainties.
We do not know if forces in North Sudan will disrupt the voting process or its aftermath. But we have positioned stocks of relief supplies across Southern Sudan, should they be needed in the event of displacement caused by post-referendum violence or war-making. It is worth remembering that the crisis in Darfur was precipitated by some of the same civil violence that many fear will befall Southern Sudan if prevention efforts fail.
Meanwhile, our long-term work in Southern Sudan carries on. The International Rescue Committee is the sole source of quality health care for hundreds of thousands of extremely poor people in large stretches of the country. Maternal health and child survival are of particular concern, with the grim statistic that a girl is more likely to die in childbirth than she is to complete the sixth grade. Programs that address gender-based violence are also reaching large numbers of women and girls, who refuse to be intimidated and increasingly assert their independence and rights.
In addition to funding this important work, your support will enable us to consider adding education and income generation programs in the near future.
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Become a Rescue Partner today: The IRC depends on monthly donors — our Rescue Partners — for the ongoing support we count on to help us rescue lives during emergencies as well as continue our long-term efforts to rebuild war and disaster zones all over the world.
90 cents of every dollar the IRC spends goes to programs and services that directly benefit people who are struggling to survive in the wake of conflict, persecution, violence, or natural disaster.