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WFP distributes food in Sudan’s Yabus for first time after decades

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WFP Executive Director David Beasley poses with Yabus people in the first food distribution operation after decades on 18 Dec 2019 (WFP photo)
December 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The UN humanitarian agency World Food Programme (WFP) achieved Wednesday the first operation of food distribution in Yabus area of the Blue Nile State not far from the border with South Sudan and Ethiopia.

The humanitarian breakthrough was witnessed by the WFP Executive Director, David Beasley, accompanied by teams from WFP’s Sudan and South Sudan.

This is the first time since 2011 UN personnel have been able to bring food and medicines to the south-eastern Sudan town of Yabus which is 80km south to Kurmuk.

“This is a new day in a new Sudan and a government that recognizes the value and the dignity of the Sudanese people wherever they live and whoever they are,” said Beasley in a statement released on Wednesday.

“We will be doing assessments in all the areas that need assistance over the next few months to help everyone who needs this help at this critical time,” he further said.

The UN team included the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Health Organisation, United Nations Population Fund and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Sudan.

The WFP praised the support they have received from the Sudanese prime minister Abdallah Hamdok and the head of the transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu of the SPLM-N.

In Khartoum, Hamdok reiterated his government’s commitment to remove all obstacles facing the WFP humanitarian action and to facilitate food delivery to all conflict-affected areas.

The prime minister made his pledge after a meeting with Paisley, in the capital before to head to Yabus.

The UN team provided food to nearly 10,000 people in Yabus. Further operations will be carried out in the area by the UN humanitarian agencies to provide sustained assistance to address food security, health, education and livestock health deficits in the area.

Additional funding is needed to meet the increasing humanitarian needs across Sudan. WFP Sudan faces a funding shortfall of US$29 million for the next six months, said the statement.

(ST)

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