April 13, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A second relief caravan Friday has been dispatched from the capital of Sudan’s North Kordofan state, El Obeid to the needy population in South Sudan.
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.
On 30 June, the World Food Programme (WFP) began providing food assistance to South Sudan using a new corridor opened by Sudan. The new route enables transport of food items overland from El Obeid in central Sudan to Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity state.
Humanitarian aid commissioner in North Kordofan Ahmed Babiker al-Hassan said the first batch of the food assistance to South Sudan included 1200 metric tonnes, saying a second caravan including 962 metric tonnes has left El Obeid on Friday.
He pointed the higher regional committee to deliver the assistance has developed a number of plans and programmes to secure the delivery of relief to Bentiu, saying they plan to transport 2000 metric tonnes monthly.
Al-Hassan added that rugged roads hinder the flow of food assistance, saying the delivery of the humanitarian aid comes in implementation of President Omer al-Bashir’s directives to support South Sudan’s citizens.
He further called on the residents of North Kordofan to participate in the relief of South Sudan’s people.
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.
Earlier this month, Sudan 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.
FOREIGN MINISTRY URGES COOPERATION
For its part, Sudan’s foreign ministry stressed that humanitarian support from Sudan and aid agencies would be delivered to South Sudan through the various corridors.
Sudan’s state foreign minister Kamal Ismail told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Friday that Khartoum deals wisely with its neighbours, pointing to the joint interests shared between Sudan and its neighbours.
He called for coordination and integration between Sudan and South Sudan to serve interests of both peoples, saying his country dispatched a number of relief caravans to support South Sudanese people during the previous period.
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,
However, in 2013 the country was plunged into civil war killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions.