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Tag Archives: Water

Hard times just got harder in Darfur

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Darfur: Joint UN agency statement

The following statement on the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan has been issued jointly and endorsed by UNICEF, UNHCR, UNJLC, WFP, WHO and OCHA on March 6, 2009. For additional information about UNICEF’s work for the children of Darfur, visit: unicefusa.org/darfur.

The Government of Sudan’s order suspending 16 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will have devastating implications for the citizens of Darfur. Aid operations in North Sudan, the largest humanitarian emergency in the world costing over $2 billion annually, will be irrevocably damaged.

The UN Agencies operating in Sudan (UNICEF, UNHCR, UNJLC, WFP, WHO) and OCHA, are deeply concerned by this situation. The suspended NGOs account for more than half of the capacity for the aid operation in Darfur. If the lifesaving assistance these agencies were providing is not restored shortly, it will have immediate, lasting and profound impacts on the well-being of millions of Sudanese citizens.

It is not possible, in any reasonable time frame, to replace the capacity and expertise these agencies have provided over an extended period of time. The decision to expel these sixteen organizations, our main implementing partners, effectively removes some 6,500 staff, or 40 percent of the humanitarian workforce, from being able to carry out critical humanitarian activities in Darfur.

These organizations provide a lifeline to 4.7 million people in Darfur alone, and millions more in other areas of Northern Sudan. While some 85 international NGOs operate in Darfur, without these organizations much of the aid operation literally comes to a halt.

We are also alarmed that the Government has confiscated assets from these organizations, which are critical to the humanitarian operation, including computers, vehicles and communications equipment.

While the UN agencies reaffirm their commitment to do everything possible to cover the most pressing and critical gaps caused by this suspension during the coming days, neither this commitment nor remaining capacity on the ground is sufficient to meet the humanitarian needs in the long run. As such, we appeal to the Government of Sudan to urgently reconsider this decision and to restore our ability to assist their most vulnerable citizens.

To make an immediate, online donation in support of UNICEF’s continuing work for the children of Darfur and Sudan, visit: unicefusa.org/donate/darfur.

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New York Times on Tap

— Did you happen to catch New York Times Columnist Stuart Elliott’s feature story about the Tap Project in yesterday’s business section? He did a great job discussing how the annual campaign to help raise funds for UNICEF’s clean water and sanitation programs has grown from a local NYC-based initiative in 2007, to a flourishing national movement in 2009.

The piece even features some of the creative promotional materials and innovative ad campaigns that the Tap Project’s newest media partners in Puerto Rico and Utah (among others) have created to raise awareness and raise vital dollars.

Click here to check out the article, if you haven’t already. Or visit www.nytimes.com/business/media and look for Elliott’s article titled, “A Campaign for Clean Drinking Water Expands.”

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Recruiting restaurants on the cold streets of Brooklyn

As most of the country knows by now

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Dining, Donating, Doing My Part

Last week, I wrote an extensive blog about a trip a close friend of mine has taken to Niger, where nearly 13 million people struggle to access the most basic

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From D.C. to Niger

Last week, my friend Laurel left her job and home in Washington, D.C., for Niger. When she arrives, she’ll face a stark contrast from DC life. While Americans continue to lose jobs and both sides of the political fence over here wrestle with how large a role the government will play in orchestrating our collective recovery, Niger remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Unlike the United States, it has minimal government services to develop its resources

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