KHARTOUM/JUBA- The Government of Sudan, the Government of South Sudan and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) extended for six months an agreement that allows the delivery of food assistance from Sudan to South Sudan where hundreds of thousands of people face acute hunger due to the continuing conflict.
This is the second extension of the agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was first signed in July last year. The agreement has so far enabled the timely delivery of over 20,000 metric tons of food assistance from White Nile State in Sudan to some 300,000 conflict-affected people in Maban, Melut, Renk and Wadakona in the northern part of Upper Nile State in South Sudan who depend mainly on food assistance delivered via this corridor.
“We are proud to be a key partner in this initiative that is helping hundreds of thousands of people who are facing an extremely hard time and need life-saving food assistance as the conflict in South Sudan continues to take its toll on them,” said Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed Adam.
The Joint Technical Committee on the Passage of Humanitarian Assistance from Sudan to South Sudan – comprised of representatives of the Governments of South Sudan, Sudan and WFP –has been overseeing the implementation of the agreement.
“We are deeply grateful to the Government of Sudan and WFP for their continued support which has put us in good stead to respond to the needs of our people,” said Mayan Dut Waal, the South Sudan Ambassador to Sudan.
The committee has made two field visits to Kosti, White Nile State for follow-up and close monitoring to ensure smooth and successful management of the operation. The committee meets on a weekly basis and recently met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and decided to extend the agreement for another six months.
“WFP in South Sudan pre-positioned food before more than half of the country became inaccessible by road due to rains and floods,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in South Sudan Joyce Luma. “The extension of the MoU will help ensure that the most food-insecure people in South Sudan receive vital food assistance in a timely and efficient manner.”
“Keeping this assistance corridor between the two countries open and working smoothly is key to ensuring that tens of thousands of people do not go hungry,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Sudan Adnan Khan. “WFP Sudan is also providing much-needed food assistance to over 100,000 South Sudanese who have fled conflict in their country and entered the states of South Kordofan, North Kordofan, West Kordofan and White Nile in Sudan.”
South Sudan, which this week celebrates its third anniversary on July 9, is facing the worst levels of food insecurity since independence because of conflict, high food prices and a worsening economic crisis. A recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis estimated that 4.6 million people in South Sudan, or 40 percent, of its population could face acute hunger and would require urgent food assistance.
People in the three conflict-affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity are facing the worst conditions. Even in states not directly affected by conflict, such as Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, high food prices, rising inflation, depreciation of the local currency and diminishing purchasing power are pushing many families closer to the edge of hunger.
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WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
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