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International artists plan 'Refugee Voices for Darfur' concert

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International artists plan 'Refugee Voices for Darfur' concert

11 November 2004

11 November 2004.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is bringing together several internationally known singers and musicians for a December 8 concert at London's Royal Albert Hall in aid of refugees and displaced people from the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan.

Barbara Hendricks, Mick Hucknall, Chrissie Hynde, Jocelyn Brown, Lemar, Andrew Coleman and the group Franz Ferdinand are among artists taking part in the gala evening event featuring the music of Cole Porter. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will accompany the artists as they perform Cole Porter in their own varied styles. Franz Ferdinand, who have contributed £10,000 to the event, will perform via a video link from Mexico City.

Amid the continuing conflict and immense suffering in Darfur, UNHCR is calling on a number of contemporary and classical recording artists to participate in the "Refugee Voices for Darfur" concert, and more big names are expected.

Music producer Robin Millar, owner of Whitfield Studios in London, has collaborated closely with UNHCR in launching the initiative.

"The catastrophe in Sudan is the worst crisis I have seen in the world," Millar said. "The concert in December is to kick-start a global campaign to do whatever any of us can."

Proceeds from the concert will be used to provide international protection and life-saving assistance to refugees who have fled to neighbouring Chad, as well as those still displaced inside Darfur. The situation in the strife-torn west Sudan region remains volatile, with continuing raids by armed Janjaweed militia who have forced some 1.8 million people from their homes.

Over the past 20 months, 200,000 refugees from Darfur have arrived in Chad, where they are housed in 11 camps overseen by UNHCR and its partners. Within the Darfur region itself, an estimated 1.6 million people are displaced.

The concert for Darfur is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on December 8 at London's Royal Albert Hall.