Israel to aid Darfur refugees

Wednesday, May 09, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israel's Foreign Ministry will donate $5 million toward aiding the millions of refugees created by ongoing violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

Four million dollars will be transfered to international aid agencies already working in Darfur, and an additional $1 million will be used to purchase medicine and water desalination equipment from Israeli companies, which will then be given directly to the refugees.

An estimated three million refugees are living under inadequate conditions in tent camps along the Sudan-Chad border.

The Israeli plan to help those refugees, which also includes the establishment of a medical clinic staffed by two Israeli doctors in neighboring Kenya, was formulated on the recommendation of Daniel Miron, head of the Foreign Ministry's Human Rights Division.

"Israel cannot stand by while such a severe humanitarian crisis is taking place without trying to reach out and help," Ynet quoted Miron as saying.

Israel's monetary contribution will put it on the top 10 list of nations that have donated most to the Darfur refugees.

In an unofficial capacity, many individual Israelis have joined groups traveling to Darfur over the past three years to provide any assistance possible.

The victims are ethnic Africans who have been driven from their homes by a government-backed Arab militia. The militia was unleashed after a rebel group based in Darfur launched an insurgency against the Arab-dominated regime in 2003.

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