MacArthur has awarded a grant of $1.5 million to CARE International that will be used for two purposes. The first is for disaster relief and reconstruction related to the earthquake and tsunamis in South Asia. The second is for work in regions of Africa where disasters caused by humans continue to take an enormous toll.
The earthquake and tsunamis remind us of the power of nature, the fragility of life, and, in the days since, of the caring and generous nature of people throughout the world, said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation. We think it is important to recognize, however, that catastrophic loss of life is also caused by human action and inaction. Our deep concern with the natural disaster in Asia should not deflect attention from the desperate plight of victims of civil war and ethnic conflict in Africa. So the funds we provide will also be used to help address needs in the Darfur region of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
With headquarters in Atlanta, GA, CARE works in more than 70 developing countries worldwide. CARE will have flexibility to use the MacArthur funds as it feels best in addressing the immediate needs in South Asia or the continuing and unmet needs in regions of Africa where displacement and loss of life are comparable to those caused by last weeks natural disaster.
In South Asia, CARE is providing food, water purification tablets, shelter materials, and basic medical supplies for the hardest-hit areas of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. CARE programs are also underway in the Darfur region of Sudan, where the organization is helping to provide food, shelter, and medical care for the estimated two million people who have been displaced and where 70,000 have been killed in the violence there, most of them civilians caught in conflict between the Sudanese government and rebel groups. Violence and turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken the lives of an estimated three million people in the last five years alone. Statistics kept by CARE indicate that one of every eight households in Congo has experienced a violent death since the start of the war there, 40 percent of them women and children. An estimated two million Congolese have been displaced.