April 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government Saturday said it doesn’t rule out to open an Airbridge to deliver food assistance to South Sudan during the rainy season revealing a proposal to open a third road corridor to transport aid to the needy population in the war-torn nation.
Famine was recently declared in Mayendit, a village in South Sudan’s Unity state, the latest crisis in the country’s three-year civil war. About 100 000 people are said to be at risk, and aid groups are pleading for access. At least 5 million people or more than 40% of the nation’s population need urgent assistance, aid agencies say.
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 26 March, Sudan announced it would open a second humanitarian corridor to deliver food assistance to the affected in South Sudan.
Humanitarian aid commissioner in North Kordofan state Ahmed Babiker al-Hassan disclosed a proposal to open a third route from North Kordofan capital, El-Obeid to Aweil town in South Sudan via Al-Muglad to deliver aid to people in need.
He told the official news agency SUNA that 27,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian assistance are at the disposal of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and ready to be delivered, adding that additional 1000 metric tonnes are in the locality of Al-Dibaibat, South Kordofan state.
Al-Hassan expected that the total assistance would reach 57,000 metric tonnes by the end of April.
It is noteworthy that heavy rains impede vehicles movement in most of the western states of Sudan and those bordering South Sudan for long periods during the fall.
On Thursday, WFP announced it has begun providing food assistance to war-torn South Sudan using the new corridor announced by the Sudanese government last week.
WFP said the new route enables transport of food items overland from El-Obeid in central Sudan to Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity state.