Sudan's expulsion this month of 13 international aid groups from Darfur is already putting added strain on the region's sprawling displacement camps and will have horrific consequences in the weeks to come, aid workers say.
The ousted groups — 12 charities and one for-profit relief organization — employed about 6,500 people in Darfur and provided at least half of all aid, according to United Nations estimates.
I have a confession to make. In the ninth year of the 21st century, and on my own 46th birthday, I may be the last activist left in America that has never penned a blog. So here it is, my maiden voyage. And I am only writing this because Jim Wallis asked me to, after we did a press conference together in the Capitol Building this past week. Ever since I met Jim 20 years ago in a northeast D.C. gym, I would follow him anywhere, even into the world of blogging.
Today I’m writing to implore you to stand up in support of the people of Darfur. Now, more than ever, with the expulsion of 13 aid agencies, they need our voices. President Obama is overwhelmed by a multitude of crises, so he and the new Congress need to hear from us that Sudan is a priority too.
A top Reform Jewish movement leader joined other Darfur activists and members of Congress in calling on the United States and the international community to step up their efforts to end the genocide in Darfur.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism director Rabbi David Saperstein and other speakers at a Capitol Hill press conference sponsored by the Save Darfur Coalition on Thursday also called on the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian aid groups back into the country.