Islamic Relief has supplied emergency health and education in Darfur.

Families who have been displaced by conflict, poor local families and nomadic people are all benefitting from the project, which is reaching an estimated 80,000 people. The programme covers education, health and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), prioritising learning, primary health care and safe drinking water to people in Central Darfur, in Sudan.

Providing healthcare and improving community health

Research found the main causes of mortality in the region were malaria, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection, while not enough people were being referred to specialist care when needed, and health facilities were dilapidated and badly equipped. Islamic Relief responded to the concerns by improving primary health care units, supplying medicines, setting up mobile health clinics, and building the skills of local health staff and community health promoters. We are also working locally to increase awareness of illnesses and increase immunisation against measles and polio.

Building blocks for the future

Islamic Relief has made steps to ensure people are not excluded from education. We have repaired five classrooms in Jebel Mara, in Central Darfur. Each has been equipped with seating, furniture and textbooks. We have built toilets and installed plumbing that provides safe drinking water. In total, 36 people have received teacher training.

Islamic Relief’s country director for Sudan, Dr Sayed Elzenari said: “In Sudan, the government estimates that more than 1.9 million children of school age are not in school, and 44 per cent of these children are in Darfur. This region has been badly affected by the civil war which has destroyed the infrastructure and disrupted the social services such as water, health and education. Inadequate learning materials are common, while teachers are often insufficiently trained. Most of the schools lack permanent classrooms, and many school pupils sit on the ground. “

As well as improving education in the area, the project has also contributed to the reduction of the psychological impact of conflict by giving a sense of normalcy, stability, structure and hope for the future during a time of crisis, as well as providing building blocks for future economic stability.”

Islamic Relief began working in Sudan 30 years ago, and has continued to offer support during times of famine, drought, and conflict.