March 2009 issue
The conflict between the Sudanese government, supported by militias collectively known as Janjaweed, and armed opposition groups in the country’s Darfur region has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people and the displacement of close to three million people since 2003. Last year, the Canadian International Development Agency donated $1.5 million to relief efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sudan. One vital initiative, given unreliable postal services and cellphone networks, involves tracking down and delivering messages to family members separated or cut off from one another by the war. Each month, the icrc in Sudan receives up to fifty tracing requests for missing persons and carries up to 2,000 messages in and out of the country.