November 12, 2017 (EL-OBEID) – Local officials in North Kordofan state Sunday said all arrangements have been completed to resume relief operations in South Sudan through a new route connecting the state with the neighbouring country.
- The conflict in South Sudan has triggered a humanitarian crisis with 2.3 million people forced from their homes and 4.6 million in need of emergency food (AFP Photo/Tony Karumba)
Three United Nations agencies declared an outbreak of famine in the young nation in February, saying an additional 1 million people were are the brink of starvation.
In July 2014, Juba and Khartoum signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to open a humanitarian corridor to deliver food assistance to vulnerable South Sudanese through the River Nile or by road. Last January, the agreement was extended for a six month period.
On 30 June, the World Food Programme (WFP) began providing food assistance to South Sudan using a new corridor to transport food items overland from El Obeid in central Sudan to Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity state.
Sudan has so far opened three aid corridors to deliver food assistance to South Sudan. Last month, South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation deputy commissioner said the Sudanese government has agreed to open an additional corridor.
During a meeting on Sunday, the secretary general of North Kordofan government and chairman of the sub-committee tasked with the delivery of humanitarian aid to South Sudan Abdullah al-Tom Imam Sunday laid out the arrangements to resume the relief operations.
According to the official news agency SUNA, Imam said the concerned bodies indicated that all arrangements have been completed to transport 500 metric tonnes of sorghum via 18 trucks.
He added the delivery of the aid underlines the seriousness of the Sudanese government to assist the South Sudanese citizens, demanding the WFP to resume the relief operations through the new corridor.
For his part, the WFP representative in Khartoum, who is also in charge of the logistical support for South Sudan, has pledged to meet all demands of the committee.
He vowed to provide the storage and transportation needs, renewing the WFP commitment to cooperate with the competent authorities.
Also, the deputy commissioner of humanitarian aid in North Kordofan has expressed readiness to deliver food assistance to South Sudan via the new corridor.
South Sudan became the world’s newest nation after declaring independence from Sudan in 2011.
However, in 2013 the country was plunged into civil war killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions.