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Joint United Nations Press Release – United Nations Agencies in Sudan Reach Conflict-Affected Communities in Non-Government-Controlled Areas for First Time in a Decade [EN/AR] – Sudan

By on June 13, 2021 0

KHARTOUM – For the first time in ten years, United Nations humanitarian agencies have been able to access conflict-affected communities in the five non-governmental areas controlled by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Sudan-North (SPLM-N) El Hilu in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan.

A series of humanitarian missions to the five isolated enclaves has come to an end, even as new peace talks between the Sudanese government and SPLM-N are underway in Juba, South Sudan. These five areas have been largely cut off from support over the past decade, and mission findings indicate that people urgently need improved food security, education, health, water and sanitation services.

“This response marks a significant breakthrough in humanitarian access and response to conflict-affected communities who had not benefited from United Nations humanitarian assistance. We applaud local efforts to meet basic needs during difficult years. The humanitarian community in Sudan is calling for increased access and much needed assistance to support these marginalized communities, ”said Khardiata Lo N’diaye, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.

United Nations humanitarian agencies have not been able to reach or provide life-saving assistance to support people at the five sites since 2011, when conflict erupted between the government of Sudan and the SPLM-N. Humanitarian access to these communities offers a crucial opportunity to improve lives and rebuild livelihoods.

“Communities in these regions have been struggling and surviving on little or nothing for a decade. Access for humanitarian agencies to increase their assistance to these vulnerable communities is essential. With improved food security and other opportunities, families will be able to reintegrate into the rest of Sudan and begin to recover and rebuild, ”said Eddie Rowe, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) country director. in Sudan.

WFP delivered 100 tonnes of nutritious biscuits to 25,000 schoolchildren in 83 schools across the five missions. This was the first assistance that residents of these isolated areas received from the UN in the past decade due to conflict and access constraints. The lack of food for students is one of the main challenges in maintaining schooling in these isolated areas. Providing school meals is a top priority in WFP’s response as access continues to open up.

“While these missions mark a major development, we must ensure that humanitarian access to children and communities in need is always granted. No conditions should ever be imposed on access; humanitarian aid must be provided anytime and anywhere to those in need. The conclusions of this mission are bleak. These children have been entirely “left behind”. We must act now to secure a future for these children. Collectively, efforts must be made to ensure access, maintain and scale up assistance, ”said Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF representative in Sudan.

Expanding humanitarian access to the enclaves controlled by the SPLM-N is crucial in providing emergency assistance to an estimated 800,000 people in these areas, who are in desperate need of relief after years of isolation. The increased support will help stabilize communities and pave the way for peacebuilding efforts, while strengthening the UN’s commitment to helping marginalized populations in Sudan.

The World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) participated to missions over the past six weeks to five of the isolated areas in the areas controlled by the SPLM-N El Hilu, including Zozak and Amora in Blue Nile State and Kau / Nyaro, Rashad / New Tegali and Western Jebels in the state of South Kordofan.

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises. We advocate for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all.

The United Nations World Food Program is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food aid to pave the way for peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child and is committed to the children of Sudan. We never give up on finding solutions that provide immediate help to save children’s lives or lasting support for these children to grow up with dignity, health and education.

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