quinta-feira, 13 de março de 2008

Clooney group gives $500,000 to Darfur relief

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A charitable group co-founded by Hollywood actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, has given $500,000 to the United Nations World Food Program to help stem hunger, an affiliated organization said on Thursday.
The World Food Program (WFP) uses helicopters to send support people and food to northern Sudan and, more specifically, into the Darfur region that has been seen a huge influx of refugees in recent years as war ravaged the area.
"Without immediate additional funding, humanitarian aid in the region will be crippled," Clooney said in a statement, noting that it is a critical time in Darfur.
Friends of the World Food Program, which is a nonprofit group that helps build support for the UN group, said the Clooney-backed charitable group known as Not On Our Watch gave $1 million to the WFP in 2007.
Not On Our Watch also was co-founded by actor Don Cheadle and producer Jerry Weintraub. Many Hollywood stars and people around the world have become involved in humanitarian efforts to help the refugees in Darfur.
Friends of the World Food Program said the WFP needs $77 million in 2008 to sustain its operations. The WFP expects to support some 180,000 aid workers from 180 agencies in Sudan, and about 70 percent of that is in Darfur.
The region has been at the center of a bloody conflict between the Sudanese government, which has armed militias of mostly Arabs known as the Janjaweed, and non-Arab rebels.
Experts believe some 200,000 people have died in the conflict and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes since fighting began in 2003.

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