ACT-Caritas Alliance program

The ACT-Caritas program was launched in the Darfur region of Sudan in response to the conflict in 2003. Now in its tenth year, it aims to help communities to support themselves in a sustainable way.

Dafur. Photo credit: Laura Sheahen/ Caritas-Act

About the program

The ACT-Caritas Darfur Emergency Response program was launched in June 2004 and has been supported by Caritas Australia since 2008. This program is a good example of inter-agency church activities through two main international church-based networks; Caritas Internationalis (CI) and Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT). The project was proposed in response to the conflict in 2003 which resulted in the displacement of millions and an urgent need for humanitarian assistance.

Now in its tenth year of continuous operation, the program’s two key priorities are:

  • Building the capacity of local Sudanese partners to manage the program’s activities.
  • Moving away from the direct provision of services towards a “livelihoods” approach – thus helping communities to support themselves in sustainable ways.

Ten years on from the conflict, an estimated 3.4 million people still depend on humanitarian aid, including 1.7 million people still living in camps. The continued volatility of the region means that most of those living in camps are unable to return to their land or rebuild their villages. Despite the many challenges of operating in Sudan, the ACT-CI program remains one of the largest aid agency programs in Darfur - providing assistance to approximately 500,000 people in camps annually, and delivering assistance for a value of US$9.6 million in 2013.

Community members trained to fix pipes and repair water systems. Photo credit: Sheahen/ Caritas-ACT

The program provides:

  • Capacity building support for local partners
  • Clean water and sanitation, through boreholes and solar powered water systems
  • Health clinics and health training
  • Treatment for malnutrition
  • Schools
  • Seeds, tools and training
  • Support for people in making a living, so that families can be self-sufficient
  • Peace-building initiatives between communities.

Woman from a camp for internally displaced people in SudanPhoto Gallery: A Decade in Darfur

Over the past ten years, the ACT-Caritas Alliance program has been working with the communities who are still living in camps in Darfur, by providing clean water, nutrition, health services, education and skills training.

View a photo gallery of the communities we have been working with »