Minister of State Kitt meets Sudanese Minister at Darfur Conference
Minister of State, Mr. Tom Kitt, T.D., today met in Geneva with the Sudanese Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, at the High Level Donors’ Consultations on Darfur, Sudan. Minister of State Kitt stressed to the Sudanese Minister his serious concerns in relation to the Darfur humanitarian crisis and in particular the importance of ensuring immediate and unrestricted access for aid workers and aid supplies to the most needy and vulnerable. He also emphasised the responsibility of the Sudanese Government to protect its citizens against out of control militias throughout Darfur.
Minister of State Kitt is co-chairing the Darfur meeting, along with UN, US and European Commission. The meeting has been convened by the United Nations to highlight the unfolding crisis in Darfur and the needs of humanitarian agencies.
Over 1 million people have been displaced by violence and conflict. The meeting heard horrific accounts of gross violations of basic human rights, including sexual violence. Unless there is immediate international action matched by unrestricted access to the population of Darfur, many of the participants at the meeting believe that hundreds of thousands of lives will be lost.
Overall financial needs for Darfur amount to over US$300 million. New humanitarian pledges were announced by many of the donor participants. Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Minister of State Kitt announced €10 million in new funding to meet the humanitarian needs of the Greater Darfur region. This is in addition to the €3.2 million the EC is already delivering. On behalf of Ireland, Minister Kitt pledged €1.5 million for humanitarian assistance for the Darfur region. This is on top of the €1 million announced a few weeks ago and currently being disbursed.
Minister of State Kitt, speaking on behalf of the EU, expressed his deep concern at the extent of the human suffering. Minister Kitt stated at the meeting, “that these are not just stark statistics, but people with lives, families, dependents and hopes for a better life. Their lives and livelihoods have been targeted, with the specific objective of undermining their capacity to survive. This is an affront to our basic humanity.” Top