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PHR Seeks Balanced US Plan to Respond to Violence against Women in Darfur

For Immediate Release

Cambridge, MA — On the eve of the US government's expected release of a plan to address violence against women and girls in Darfur, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) renews its call for an integrated plan that balances treatment and support for violence survivors with broader programming that reduces vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence.

While much of the world's attention in Sudan is now focused on the April 2010 elections and peace talks in Doha, Qatar, humanitarian needs on the ground in Darfur remain acute. Programming targeted to address the needs of women and girls was severely disrupted last year following the Government of Sudan's expulsion of 13 international and three national non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“Addressing the epidemic of violence against women and girls in Darfur makes a future peace more sustainable,” says Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director of PHR.

A new PHR briefing paper, Action Agenda for Realizing Treatment and Support for Women and Girls in Darfur, outlines current conditions in the region and suggests measures that the US government, as the largest bilateral donor in Darfur, should take to improve the welfare of women and girls.

Violence against women and girls is a stated priority of General Scott Gration, who has been the US special envoy to Sudan for the past 12 months. His office is expected to release details of a multi-year plan on sexual and gender-based violence this week.

Since 2004, PHR has documented the systematic displacement, killing, and human rights abused perpetrated against Darfurian civilians.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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