Darfur, Sudan - A new wave of violence in Darfur has forced more than 50,000 people to flee their homes since the start of the year. Thousands of families are facing limited access to food, adequate water supply and shelter. Oxfam has launched an immediate response, aiming to reach more than 20,000 people with clean water, emergency latrines and hygiene supplies.

“Families who fled their homes are now living in the open; the lucky ones have a tree for shelter,” says Sahar Ali, Oxfam Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan. “We met with a group of women who had to flee from their villages and walk for three days to find safety. Their villages were looted of all their belongings, including their food, livestock, and harvests. Some families lost their children when they fled.” Oxfam urges the Government of Sudan and all armed groups to work quickly toward a lasting peace settlement that addresses the roots of conflict in Sudan. Oxfam also calls upon UNAMID, the joint United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, to deliver on its mandate to protect the civilians of Darfur.

“We call on all the parties to the conflict to protect the lives and the rights of civilians. In an armed conflict, there is no excuse for endangering children, the elderly, and the families that care for them,” says El Fateh Osman, Director of Oxfam in Sudan.

Oxfam has been working in Sudan for more than 30 years; since armed conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, Oxfam and partners have helped hundreds of thousands of people affected by the violence, with programs focused on clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; improving incomes and resilience through microfinance programs; providing agricultural support to improve harvests and the health of livestock; and assembling and distributing fuel-efficient stoves.