The Isle of Man Government’s Overseas Aid Committee has agreed to provide £50,000 in response to emergencies in Sudan and Sierra Leone.
The Blue Nile State, on the border of Sudan and the recently independent South Sudan, is witnessing fighting between the Sudanese Government and rebel groups. As a consequence 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes and there has been a loss of agricultural land and a failed harvest.
The Overseas Aid Committee has agreed to give more than £25,000 to the charity Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART UK) to provide emergency food aid to those most affected by the crisis, while also providing seeds to farmers to improve their livelihoods in the longer term.
In Sierra Leone a national state of emergency has been called by the President as a result of a cholera epidemic. So far more than 200 people have died and 12,000 have contracted the disease.
The Committee has granted almost £25,000 to Oxfam to respond to the outbreak. Oxfam is focusing its response on the capital Freetown, which has been hardest hit. The charity will provide access to clean water and sanitation facilities and undertake hygiene promotion in slums so that local people can take action to protect themselves against cholera. It will also ensure that a government hospital in Freetown is equipped with proper sanitation facilities.
The Chairman of the Overseas Aid Committee, Hon Phil Gawne MHK, stated: ‘Sudan and Sierra Leone are two of the poorest countries in the world, so the funding to support these emergencies is much needed. The work that HART and Oxfam do in these areas will help to save lives and I am glad that the Overseas Aid Committee can contribute to that.’