UNHCR seeks more Darfur funds

The chief of the U.N. refugee agency called Friday on Japan to give an additional $10 million to help with what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said he hopes Japan can come up with more than its current donation of $1 million to stay on par with what he says is a common Japanese practice of contributing 10 percent to a U.N. cause.

“I hope Japan will catch up to its 10 percent share,” Lubbers said. The UNHCR said it needs about $115 million for Sudan.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Darfur and more than 1 million have been displaced since February 2003, when African rebels rose against the Sudanese government, which they accused of persecuting them. Arab militias known as the Janjaweed also started indiscriminately assaulting Africans.