On June 30, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2642, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008. Thanks to the strong efforts of Save Darfur activists, as well as the leadership of Darfur champions within Congress and the Administration who heard their call, the bill includes over $800 million in funding within six different accounts […]

On June 30, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2642, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008. Thanks to the strong efforts of Save Darfur activists, as well as the leadership of Darfur champions within Congress and the Administration who heard their call, the bill includes over $800 million in funding within six different accounts to support critical Darfur programs.

The bill provides more than $400 million for the United Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which not only fulfills the U.S.’s basic commitment to the force, but also provides additional tens of millions for the training and equipping of UNAMID troops and police to help speed up deployment. The bill also includes more than $420 million in emergency food and disaster relief, a significant portion of which will go to support Darfur’s vulnerable civilians.

In addition to peacekeeping and humanitarian accounts, the bill provides critical funding for the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan, as well as $70 million to support preparations for the 2009 Sudanese national elections. Given this year’s fiscal constraints, this is an overwhelming amount of funding that all Darfur activists should be proud of.

These are amazing victories, but we still have work to do. In mid-July, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will consider funding for Fiscal Year 2009. The Save Darfur Coalition is calling for $430 million for UNAMID, which includes $16 million for training of additional UNAMID troops. We are also calling for an additional $800 million in international disaster assistance, a significant portion of which would go to help Darfur refugees and internally-displaced persons.

You can help by contacting your Congressional Representative and Senators and urging them to make sure that all necessary funds are included in the Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bills.

Please visit our pending legislation page for more information on pending legislation related to Darfur and ways you can help ensure that Congress and the Administration make the right decisions for the people of Darfur.

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