WFP: ‘Grain from Ukraine’ docks in Port Sudan

A shipment of 7,600 tonnes of wheat flour, donated by Ukraine to the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) Sudan operation, has arrived in Port Sudan and is being loaded onto WFP trucks, for emergency food distribution (Photo: WFP / Abubaker Garelnabei)

Assigned to be a core part of food rations for one million conflict-affected people in Sudan for one month, a shipment of 7,600 tonnes of emergency food aid donated by Ukraine to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Sudan operation, has arrived in Port Sudan, WFP says. The wheat flour is being loaded onto WFP trucks for emergency food distribution.

As the war raging across the country enters its 10th month, WFP is working around the clock to urgently deliver critical food assistance to families in Sudan who are struggling with skyrocketing food insecurity, the WFP says in a statement issued yesterday.

WFP says that the shipment – part of Ukraine’s humanitarian ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative launched by President Zelensky – was made possible by the German Federal Foreign Office, which covered the operating costs of €15 million, including the transportation costs from Ukraine to Sudan, and the implementation and distribution within the country to people in need.

Bags of Wheat flour donated by Ukraine to the United Nations WFP Sudan that have arrived in Port Sudan
(Photo: WFP / Abubaker Garelnabei)

“The humanitarian situation in Sudan is catastrophic but we need to act now to stop it from spiralling further out of control,” says Eddie Rowe, WFP’s country director in Sudan. “WFP is working at pace to get food assistance into the hands of families that need it as quickly as possible.”

The 7,600 tonnes of wheat flour will be provided to families, many of whom have fled their homes due to the fighting and are struggling every day to meet their food needs. “This donation has arrived at a critical time in Sudan’s hunger crisis as fighting continues to spread ahead of the lean season in May, when food typically becomes scarcer, and hunger rises,” WFP says.

“This donation will enable WFP to support people whose lives have been completely upended by the war. We are deeply grateful to the Ukraine and Germany for supporting the Sudanese people in their greatest hour of need,” says Rowe.

During a press conference held in the Belgian capital Brussels last week, Rowe pointed out that that “five million people in Sudan cannot afford a square meal a day”.

WFP has been warning of a looming hunger catastrophe as the lean season approaches if civilians do not receive food assistance. Currently nearly 18 million people face acute food insecurity in Sudan, of which nearly five million are in emergency levels of hunger (IPC4). WFP has already provided around seven million people with emergency food and nutrition support since the conflict began last April, yet needs continue to grow.

Logistical challenges

The ongoing humanitarian catastrophe across Sudan is exacerbated by logistical challenges faced by organisations in delivering food and medical aid to those most in need, in light of the conflict, breakdown in security, banditry, and communications blackouts.

New reports suggest that the disruptions to shipping in the Red Sea due to escalating security concerns and attacks on commercial vessels has increased the cost of delivering vital supplies to Sudan by 40 per cent.

As reported by Radio Dabanga yesterday, The Darfur Joint Forces, which withdrew from El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur in November, have now completely stopped securing aid convoys from Port Sudan to El Fasher, due to renewed clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the North Darfur capital.

On February 22, the Darfur Network for Human Rights (DNHR) warned that El Fasher is witnessing “an intricate and dire humanitarian crisis as a violent conflict tightly grips the region”.

International law expert Motasim Ali has commented that “denying the right to humanitarian aid to civilians is considered a crime against humanity”.

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Bags of Wheat flour donated by Ukraine to the United Nations WFP Sudan offloaded in Port Sudan
(Photo: WFP / Abubaker Garelnabei)