More than 1.8 million people have been affected by the tragedy in Darfur, in Sudans western region, according to the United Nations. An estimated 50,000 people have died. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before the Senate that the atrocities in Darfur qualified as genocide and held the government of Sudan responsible. A U.S.-sponsored U.N. resolution says the Sudanese government must disarm the Janjaweed militias (who are allied with the Sudanese government), protect the local population from attacks, and generally restore security to Darfur or face possible sanctions against its oil industry.
If international aid workers cannot reach the refugees and internally displaced Sudanese soon, hundreds of thousands will starve. "The numbers that were trying to reach in September, 1.2 million, needed food before it was labeled genocide and will need food after," said Peter Smerdon, spokesperson for the World Food Programme.