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Sudan authorizes humanitarian and medical assistance to Jebel Marra areas

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An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. (UNAMID An overview of the IDPS camp at Sortony, North Darfur, where a large number of people have fled the fighting in Jebel Marra area on 20 November 2016. Photo UNAMID)
January 26, 2017 (KHARTOUM)°- Sudanese authorities have authorized the NGO International Medical Corps (IMC) to reach Jebel Marra mountainous area to provide conflict-affected civilians with nutrition and medical assistance.

Last December, Sudanese government amended the Directives and Procedures for Humanitarian Action. The measure which aims to improve humanitarian access the civilians in the conflict areas, was part of a deal over the lifting of U.S sanction on Sudan.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its weekly bulletin on Thursday that the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the State Ministry of Health (SMoH) of Central Darfur State gave the green light to the international group to start health and nutrition activities in Golo, Boori and Jokosti in the Jebel Marra area.

The approval came in light of an assessment conducted by the international group in the three areas last November. The IMC, which works in Darfur since 2004, has been providing health and nutrition services in Guldo clinic and Nertiti hospital, also in Central Darfur, since June 2016.

The aid group will deploy 27 health workers to support health and nutrition activities in Golo hospital and in health facilities in Boori and Jokosti. "IMC is also recruiting two doctors (one health and one nutrition project officer) to be based in Golo, Central Jebal Marra locality".

The group also will rehabilitate Golo hospital.

The fighting in Jebel Marra displaced 136,000 people to other states in the region according to the UN agencies. Others civilians fled their areas but remained in the Central Darfur State without humanitarian as the government denied access to the areas where they gathered.

The State Department praised the new measures saying it ’’represent a significant step toward improving humanitarian access in Sudan".

Also, IMC will start health and nutrition activities in Katti and Kurifal in Western Jebel Mara locality, an area ravaged by the fighting between the government and the rebels during last year.

"At least 19 medical staff seconded from the SMoH will be trained and deployed in the two locations," said the bulletin.

In a statement issued on 27 December State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner welcomes the access given to a UN interagency team to travel and conduct a multi-sector assessment in Golo.

(ST)

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