International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Crisis in Darfur

Darfuri mother and child  Photo: Peter Biro/IRC
Darfuri mother and baby in Bahai, Chad.  (Photo: Peter Biro/IRC) 

Since 2003, civil war and mass killings in the Darfur region of Sudan have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, and unleashed a wave of violence and terror against countless citizens.

Building on our support for victims of other civil conflicts in war-torn Sudan spanning nearly three decades, the International  Rescue Committee provided medical care, water, sanitation, education and protection for 800,000 Darfuris and 1.1 million people in North and East Sudan.

Abruptly, on March 4, 2009, the IRC and and 12 other relief organizations were expelled from the region by the Sudanese government. "Our departure left gaping holes in the essential support system for nearly two million people," says Kurt Tjossem, the IRC's regional director. "Every single one of us was heartbroken."

While some 2.7 million people remain uprooted inside Darfur, the IRC is continuing to provide lifesaving assistance to nearly 60,000 Darfuri refugees living in harsh conditions in neighboring Chad.

In Southern Sudan – effectively a semi-autonomous country since 2005 – the IRC directly helps more than 600,000 people with essential services including healthcare, specialized medical care for young children, education, and initiatives to reduce violence against women.