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Al-Shifa was the only one producing TB drugs-for more than 100,000 patients, at about 1 British pound a month. Costlier imported versions are not an option for most of them-or for their husbands, wives and children, who will have been infected since. Al-Shifa was also the only factory making veterinary drugs in this vast, mostly pastoralist, country. Its specialty was drugs to kill the parasites which pass from herds to herders, one of Sudan's principal causes of infant mortality” (James Astill, Guardian, October 2, 2001).
The bombing of the Al-Shifa plant also resulted in the mass exodus of Sudan’s international organizations. Human Rights Watch observed that because of the bombing, “all UN agencies based in Khartoum have evacuated their American staff, as have many other relief organizations.” Because of this “many relief efforts have been postponed indefinitely, including a crucial one run by the U.S.- based International Rescue Committee are dying daily.” Additionally, “the UN estimates that 2.4 million people are at risk of starvation,” and the “disruption in assistance” for the “devastated population” have produced a “terrible crisis.”