Catholic Relief Services Statement on Allegations in West Darfur, Sudan

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has worked in West Darfur, Sudan since 2004 and has established strong partnerships with the community and local government in the area. CRS remains committed to meeting the immediate and long-term development needs of more than 500,000 people of Darfur regardless of race, religion or nationality.

Recently allegations have been made that CRS has distributed Bibles in West Darfur. CRS strongly denies these allegations. CRS does not distribute Bibles. The distribution of Bibles would be a violation of our policy. CRS provides assistance to people in need, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS has worked without complaint for decades in numerous countries where the majority of the population is Muslim. CRS designs all its programs to ensure that our assistance is given in accordance to international humanitarian standards and appropriate cultural sensitivities.

CRS also does not engage in military or partisan political activities. We have consistently worked in compliance with the Sudanese government and the United Nations in our humanitarian efforts in West Darfur. This is the first time accusations have been made regarding the neutrality of our work or the manner of our conduct.

The allegations have resulted in perceived safety threats to our staff and CRS was forced to temporarily close our Darfur offices and relocate staff. We hope to resume our critical aid and development work in West Darfur as soon as possible.

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