Friday, January 07, 2011

OXFAM warns world to not forget Sudan

A new report from OXFAM warns the world not to forget Sudan after next week's historic vote. Southern Sudan will vote to become independent and separate from the north next week. Despite an oil sharing agreement, many fear that a vote to be free will bring war in Sudan. OXFAM's report says that if peace prevails, the region still has many other needs.

From News 24, we read some of the many statistics that reflect the region's needs.

Among the stark statistics set out in Oxfam's report Beyond Sudan's Big Day are that with just 100 certified midwives to serve an official population of at least 8.2 million, just one in 10 deliveries in the south is attended by a skilled birth attendant - the lowest rate in the world.

The result is that a 15-year-old girl in south Sudan has a higher chance of dying in child birth than finishing her primary school education.

One in seven women die during pregnancy, and more mothers die during child birth than anywhere else in the world apart from Sierra Leone.

An estimated 80% of adults - including 92% percent of women - cannot read or write after entire generations missed out on an education during the devastating civil war

But even six years into the peace, few of the 51% of the population who are under 18 receive a proper schooling, and less than two percent of children complete their primary education.

Over half of people do not have access to safe drinking water. They rely on seasonal pools and rivers that are often dirty and spread potentially fatal diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Despite the end of the 1983-2005 civil war, in which an estimated two million people died, fighting has forced more than 200 000 people to flee homes in the south in the past year and claimed almost 1 000 lives, Oxfam said.

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