US aid ship docks with food for Sudan war zones

2016-05-05 18:04


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Sudan - Dockers began unloading tens of thousands of tonnes of food from a US aid ship on Thursday destined for war-torn areas of Sudan, an AFP correspondent reported.

The bulk carrier Liberty Grace docked in Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast with a cargo of 47 500 tons of sorghum, a staple food in Sudan.

Dozens of stevedores were unloading the shipment onto waiting trucks.

"It will take 14 days to unload" the entire shipment, said the ship's captain Peter Matesic. It was his third trip to Sudan with a cargo of food aid.

A member of the crew said the vessel took 25 days to reach Port Sudan from Houston, Texas.

The food aid organised by the US Agency for International Development and the World Food Programme was to be delivered to several war-torn areas of Sudan but mainly to Darfur.

A brutal conflict erupted in the western region in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated government of President Omar al-Bashir.

About 300 000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 2.5 million been displaced, according to the UN.

Since 2011, when South Sudan became independent, Khartoum has also been battling insurgencies in two areas on the border - Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The food aid was also meant for tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees who have arrived in Sudan fleeing war at home.

More than 50 000 South Sudanese have fled into Sudan since January to escape the violence and food shortages across the border.

Two years after it became independent, South Sudan descended into a brutal civil war that has killed tens of thousands of civilians.

The shipment will meet food needs of "at least one million internally displaced people and 200 000 South Sudanese for three months," WFP Sudan chief Adnan Khan told reporters.

Khan said the shipment had not been affected by a funding shortfall facing the WFP and other UN agencies in Sudan.

In late April, the WFP said it was facing a shortfall of $181m for the next 12 months, which was hampering its work in Sudan, particularly with South Sudanese refugees.

He said humanitarian needs in Sudan were increasing following renewed conflicts in some areas, adding that almost 50% of humanitarian assistance came from USAID.

"This is from farmers of Texas, a gift from American people to Sudanese, to those affected by conflict in Darfur... and to South Sudanese," said Washington's charge d'affaires in Khartoum, Benjamin Moeling.

US humanitarian assistance to Sudan this year has totalled $300m, Moeling told reporters in Port Sudan, adding that Washington would continue supporting civilians in Sudan's war zones.


Read more on:    sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.