GENEVA: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has provided seed and agricultural tools for almost half a million conflict-affected people in Darfur, in time for the planting season and the first rainfall.
The aid has been distributed in cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society since June to provide livelihood support for residents and displaced people in all parts of Darfur, including a quarter million people in the Jebel Mara region. Every family was given a package containing 28 kilograms of groundnut, sorghum, millet, cow pea and assorted vegetable seeds in addition to two tools. Race against time
"Delivering the seed in time for planting and the first rains was a race against time," said Christophe Driesse, who coordinates the ICRC's economic security activities in Sudan. "Organising more than 400 trucks to deliver the seed and food to remote villages was quite a challenge."
Between July and September - a period known as the "lean season" - demand for grain increases as food stocks diminish both at household and market levels. In order to help particularly vulnerable people get through this period, the ICRC is distributing more than 4,000 tonnes of food in addition to the seed.
The ICRC has been assisting the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur since 2003. In partnership with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society and local authorities and communities, it provides emergency and long-term assistance for people displaced by the conflict, supports local health-care facilities and promotes compliance with international humanitarian law.