The Government of South Sudan on Thursday lauded its northern neighbor Sudan for allowing relief agencies to use its territory and airspace to deliver food aid to drought victims.
Minister of Health Riek Gai Kok told journalists the positive development will help reduce the cost of transporting humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons affected by famine.
“The government of Sudan has given permission to international organizations to buy food from Sudan and ferry in to South Sudan by road or air. International aid agencies outside South Sudan have also been given permission to intervene through those corridors,” Kok said.
A delegation from Sudan led by State Minister of Health, Dr. Somaya Idriss Akad arrived in the South Sudan capital, Juba Thursday morning accompanied by 15 tonnes of assorted food items and medicine donated by the Afro-Arab Youth Council to help civilians displaced by war and famine.
Akad said that her government would deliver additional humanitarian aid by road to the regions of Unity and Barh-el gazel where food insecurity is more severe.
The move came shortly after South Sudan government and three United Nations agencies declared a localized famine in the country which they blamed on the three years of conflicts in the world’s youngest republic.
According to UN estimates, 100,000 people face famine in South Sudan while one million people are on the brink of starvation.
The two countries in September 2012 signed a number of cooperation agreements to shore up relations between them after they parted ways following a referendum in 2011.
However, the cooperation agreements remained stalled for years as the two countries continued to accuse each other of supporting rebels hostile to either side.
Sudan has on several occasions closed its borders with South Sudan and denied passage of relief aid into the war-torn country through its territory.
The two neighbors in June 2016 renewed bilateral ties and declared zero tolerance to rebel groups threatening their stability. Enditem