Breakthrough as humanitarian convoy reaches insecure areas in Wau, South Sudan
JUBA – An inter-agency humanitarian convoy has reached Baggari region in South Sudan for the first time since it was cut off in June because of renewed fighting.
A lack of security and of safety guarantees for aid workers has left some 28,000 people in the region, southwest of Wau town, in dire need of humanitarian assistance over recent months.
A 14-truck convoy, led by the World Food Programme (WFP), brought 40 aid workers from 11 organizations into Baggari on Wednesday. The teams, some of which are already assisting people, are due to start a count on Friday to determine the number of people in need and their condition. Deliveries of food are expected over the weekend.
The organizations in the convoy were UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Organization for Migration, ACTED, Oxfam, Islamic Relief, Community Organization for Emergency and Rehabilitation, Johanniter International, Hold the Child, Islamic Relief and the WFP.
“Access to vulnerable people continues to be challenging in South Sudan,” says WFP Acting Country Director Simon Cammelbeeck. “The Baggari operation was only possible after lengthy negotiations. While thanking state and local authorities in Wau State, who have been instrumental in ensuring access and the safety of humanitarian workers, we renew our call on all parties to the conflict to provide full and unimpeded access to all affected people in the country.”
The operation in Baggari was the latest example of WFP and key partners using emergency mobile teams of humanitarian workers to reach people in remote, isolated areas since 2014.
The Integrated Rapid Response Mechanism is a joint WFP-UNICEF-FAO effort to deliver a comprehensive response to address critical gaps in the provision of life-saving humanitarian coverage. A team of access negotiators helps to re-open areas while food distributions are used to reach large numbers of people in need.
# # #
The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.
Follow us on Twitter wfp_southsudan, @wfp_media.
For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Tomson Phiri, WFP South Sudan +211 911 743 925.
Peter Smerdon, WFP Regional Bureau Nairobi +254 707 722 104