Khartoum — On 30 March, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) began to move food assistance to reach famine-affected people in South Sudan using a new humanitarian corridor opened by the Government of Sudan earlier in March.
The new route enables the WFP to transport food assistance overland from El Obeid in central Sudan to the area of Bentiu area in South Sudan's former Unity state, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.
The first convoy of 27 trucks carrying an initial 1,200 metric tons (MT) of sorghum started moving from El Obeid on 30 March, and arrived in Bentiu on 6 April.
In the next few weeks, the UN food aid agency plans to deliver 12,000 MT of sorghum, which is enough food to feed 203,000 people for one month. WFP planned to dispatch a second convoy carrying 1,000 MT of sorghum to Bentiu on 12 April.
Following the eruption of violence in South Sudan in December 2013, WFP has been moving food assistance through a corridor linking Sudan's White Nile state with South Sudan's Upper Nile State. To date, thanks to an agreement first signed between Sudan and South Sudan in July 2014, the WFP has moved over 62,456 MT of assorted commodities through this corridor into South Sudan.
At least 7.5 million people across South Sudan - almost two thirds of the population - need humanitarian assistance.