Doha donors conference for Darfur: Is the timing right?

By mhart

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As the Doha donors conference for Darfur concluded in Qatar yesterday, international humanitarian organization Oxfam says the right timing for recovery and development in Darfur is critical. An adequate assessment of the situation on the ground needs to take place before major interventions from the international community begin. Ensuring that the management and allocation funds for recovery is transparent and participatory is essential to successful development in Darfur.

Ten years after the conflict began, 1.4 million people are living in internal displacement camps and receiving food aid and 3.4 million, half the population of Darfur, require some form of humanitarian assistance. As a result, life in this region has completely changed.

“The path to recovery is not a paved one, not yet. Measures must be taken by donors to ensure that monies already pledged are channeled in the right direction. We must bridge emergency relief to recovery and development in Darfur, but with proper planning, the active participation of concerned populations, stability on the ground, and transparency throughout the process,” said Sara Musa, Oxfam’s Regional Director in Khartoum.

“Focusing on achieving a lasting peace will help ensure a smooth recovery process. Involvement and inclusion of the people of Darfur is critical and cannot be forgotten.”

Continued displacement in several parts of Darfur remains a challenge to recovery and development in Darfur. As some donors have already pledged contributions, mechanisms for managing these funds are essential. An adequate assessment on the ground is imperative before any implementation takes place. Now that the conference is over, questions of where, how, and by whom these funds are used must be immediately addressed.

“As the conference concludes, timing is critical for recovery and development in Darfur. The next steps are crucial, and no steps can be taken unless citizens are an active part of the peace process. Donors, authorities, and the international community must be accountable to the affected populations when planning and providing aid or we will continue to have this conversation every year as communities continue to suffer,” said Musa.