Not On Our Watch has announced a $500,000 grant to international aid agency Oxfam America to support their humanitarian response in eastern Chad, for victims of the violence in the Chad-Darfur region.

Founded by actors Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, producer Jerry Weintraub, and human rights lawyer David Pressman, Not On Our Watch works to focus global attention and resources towards putting an end to mass atrocities around the world. This timely gift supports Oxfam’s lifesaving work on health, hunger and poverty initiatives as the dry season approaches.

“As the conflict in Chad and Darfur continues, victims of violence remain desperately in need of basic support systems. Now more than ever it is critical that the international community work towards putting an end to this crisis,” said Not On Our Watch co-founder Matt Damon.

The grant allows for Oxfam to serve over 200,000 vulnerable people at a time of desperate need. Plagued with continuing violence, a lack of basic services, and depleted food rations, refugees and displaced persons are becoming more vulnerable to hunger, disease and poverty every day.

The funding provided to Oxfam will support immediate action to avert future hunger and provide access to clean water for some of the region’s most vulnerable citizens—displaced families and their host communities. The programs include:

  • Providing clean water: Communities will have safe access to water for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing. They will have access to sanitary facilities and learn safe hygiene practices.
  • Improving access to land and farming technique: Distributing tools, high yield seeds and fertilizers and improving people’s access to cultivable land, as well as new cultivation techniques to increase agricultural production.
  • Income generation: Implementing small income generation projects such as mills, rickshaws, handicrafts, and soap making.
    Also, providing technical support for more efficient livestock rearing and organizing markets where farmers can sell their goods.

These actions will better equip communities to deal with upcoming challenges. With improved water, sanitation, agriculture and income, more resources will be available in times of need.

Oxfam continues to provide vital assistance to more than 500,000 people affected by the crisis, both in Darfur and eastern Chad. The agency provides essential access to clean water and sanitation, public health education, and livelihoods opportunities and training.

“Living on the brink of disaster, any additional factor could result in a sudden crisis for the people of Chad,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. “The funding from Not On Our Watch helps Oxfam to plan for the future, and will help thousands of people to provide for themselves during lean times.”

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