NEW YORK, N.Y. — Franciscans International is encouraging those who want to help the people of Darfur to sign a petition to U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Andrew Natsios, urging him to support the work of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Sudan and neighboring Chad.
Since 2003, violence, war, and disease have killed in excess of 200,000 people, according to FI. Another two million – mostly women and children – have been forced to flee their homes.
In eastern Chad, the UN Refugee Agency is providing more than 220,000 refugees with protection, shelter, medical care, and other basic assistance. But the dire humanitarian crisis is growing worse.
A recent joint statement by UN relief agencies noted that, “in the last six months alone, more than 250,000 people have been displaced by fighting, many of them fleeing for the second or third time. Villages have been burned, looted and arbitrarily bombed, and crops and livestock destroyed. Sexual violence against women is occurring at alarming rates.”
More than 20 million innocent people worldwide depend on the UN Refugee Agency for help. When women and children flee persecution and war, they immediately look to us for protection, shelter, and life-saving assistance, according to Franciscans International.
FI urges people to aid Darfur’s refugees by advocating and signing a petition.
Joe Kotula recommends “praying, signing petitions, and helping in any way that we can.”