SOURCE: Strategic World Impact

December 28, 2007 10:21 ET

Humanitarian Team Heads to Darfur Region as Massive Needs Mount

BARTLESVILLE, OK--(Marketwire - December 28, 2007) - Despite worldwide media attention and significant assistance from aid organizations, the situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate, as evidenced by a new United Nations report, which has malnutrition rates crossing the "emergency threshold" for the first time since 2004.

Due to these and other immediate needs in the area, an organization headquartered in northeastern Oklahoma will be leading a team of doctors, medical professionals and trained disaster responders to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) beginning in mid-January.

"The deteriorating security situation in Darfur is preventing much needed resources from reaching those with the most need," said Kevin Turner, president of Strategic World Impact (SWI), an international faith-based organization that works in areas of war, disaster, persecution and human rights violations.

"This medical mission will be essential in alleviating the suffering to a great number of people," he added.

Turner's organization is no stranger to the area and has been working in Sudan for over 10 years. However, the latest effort will be the most difficult and costly since SWI's inception.

Due to the ongoing conflict between rebel groups and the Sudanese government, traveling to and from the region by air is particularly hazardous, with only a small number of air charter companies willing to provide their services. As a result, travel costs for groups such as SWI are significant.

Strategic World Impact will be transporting 18 volunteers and staff, as well as essential supplies such as clean water containers, cooking pots, mosquito nets, soap, Bibles and a host of items for the medical team to treat common conditions such as malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and respiratory infections.

"We're about $15,000 short of what we need for the entire mission, but we plan to move forward anyway," noted Turner. "We don't want to put a price tag on these people and we're willing to go in the hole financially, if necessary."

SWI has become a rising force among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in recent years, mainly due to its willingness to enter areas where few are willing to go. The latest effort in Darfur will provide another challenge for the small, yet growing ministry.

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