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USA welcomes arrival of food aid in Port Sudan

May 2 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Press conference during arrival of food aid to Port Sudan by WFP and USAID on 19 March 2017 (RD)
Press conference during arrival of food aid to Port Sudan by WFP and USAID on 19 March 2017 (RD)

The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has welcomed the third shipment of urgently needed food assistance for Sudan that arrived in Port Sudan in mid-April.

In coordination with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), a maritime vessel arrived in the Sudanese harbour on 16 April to deliver 47,500 metric tons of emergency food (including sorghum) to support Sudanese families facing food insecurity, including those displaced by conflict, as well as vulnerable South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.

In a press statement by the US Embassy in Khartoum yesterday, USAID said that “as more refugees from neighbouring South Sudan have crossed the border into Sudan, USAID also provides urgent food assistance to those who need it most”.

Mission Director Jeffrey Ashley added: “USAID is pleased with our strong partnership with WFP which enables us to assist those in need of critical food assistance, especially in Darfur, which has been affected by displacement for many years.”

The statement continues that the US have contributed over $95 million in emergency food assistance in fiscal year 2017, through WFP and other implementing partners in Sudan.

In Sudan, an estimated 4.8 million people require humanitarian assistance, and two million Sudanese children are acutely malnourished. An estimated 400,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled into Sudan seeking shelter, further increasing humanitarian needs. Violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, and WFP has been moving food assistance through a corridor linking White Nile state with South Sudan’s Upper Nile state.

95,000 refugees this year

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures show that over 10,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived here during the first half of April, bringing the number of refugee arrivals from South Sudan to over 95,000 since the beginning of 2017. The number of South Sudanese refugees who have sought shelter and assistance in Sudan since December 2013 is almost 390,000 people, according to the UN agency.

“The highest numbers of new arrivals in 2017 are reported in East Darfur and White Nile states - about 68 per cent. As of 15 April 2017, Sudan hosts about a quarter of the estimated 1.6 million South Sudanese refugees in the region,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its latest weekly bulletin.

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