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Background of Carter Center Involvement in Sudan

Contact: Carrie Harmon (404) 420-6107
Michelle Riley (404) 420-5128

The Carter Center has worked in Sudan since 1986, when its SG 2000 Agriculture program began working with farm families to increase the yield and quality of their crops. Led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, SG 2000 helped Sudanese farmers increase wheat production by 500 percent in five years, growing from 157,000 tons in 1986-87 to 831,000 tons in 1991-92.

The Center has made a substantial effort to help end the civil war between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLA). Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arranged a cease-fire in 1995 that lasted almost 6 months. During the so-called "Guinea worm cease-fire," an unprecedented and massive public health effort was made to distribute medicine and supplies to prevent Guinea worm disease and river blindness and to vaccinate children.

Maintaining offices in Khartoum and Nairobi, Kenya, The Carter Center's health care interventions continue to progress despite the civil war. Working with all parties, the Center continues to implement disease prevention programs for the whole country. Guinea worm soon will be only the second disease, after smallpox, to be eradicated. Most of the world's remaining cases of Guinea worm disease are in Sudan.

In 1996, The Carter Center launched the Global 2000 River Blindness Program (GRBP), which provided to the Sudanese people more than 93,000 river blindness treatments of the drug Mectizan® last year. GRBP works in Sudan with health workers from the Government of Sudan in the North, and with nongovernmental organizations affiliated with Operation Lifeline Sudan in the war-ravaged South.

The Carter Center has confirmed that its resident technical advisor in Khartoum, and his Sudanese staff members, are safe.

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