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Archive for the tag “Ebola”

Sudan: WFP Executive Director in breakthrough visit to Yabus in the Blue Nile State following decade of inaccessibility (18.12.2019)

Khartoum, Sudan – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, David Beasley, accompanied by teams from WFP’s Sudan and South Sudan operations and leaders of the UN country team in Sudan have achieved a significant breakthrough in humanitarian access, by landing in Yabus, a town in the Southern Blue Nile State where they witnessed a food distribution to its war and flood-stricken residents for the first time in nearly a decade.

The UN team included the United Nations Children’s Fund, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Health Organisation, United Nations Population Fund and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from Sudan.

Parts of southern Blue Nile State have been inaccessible to UN agencies and most humanitarian groups since conflict began there and in the Nuba mountains of South Kordofan in May 2011.

In October, Beasley used his good offices to support a humanitarian confidence-building visit to Kauda in South Kordofan – the first UN visit to the area in nearly a decade. This followed months of negotiations with the new Government of Sudan, leaders of South Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) leader, Abdulaziz Al-Hilu. Following this visit, commitments were made to enable humanitarian access to the conflict-affected areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

“This is a new day in a new Sudan and a government that recognizes the value and the dignity of the Sudanese people wherever they live and whoever they are,” said David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme. “We will be doing assessments in all the areas that need assistance over the next few months to help everyone who needs this help at this critical time.”

The first UN humanitarian assistance in the area in nearly a decade was distributed by a WFP-led, UN interagency team. The UN team provided food to nearly 10,000 people in Yabus. This was made possible through the work of UN staff from Sudan and cross-border assistance from South Sudan. The United Nations humanitarian agencies in Sudan will move forward together to provide sustained assistance to address food security, health, education and livestock health deficits in the area.

Yabus and some areas in the Blue Nile State were recently affected by floods, pests and diseases resulting in low farm harvests leaving many of its residents short of food.

The support we have received from Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo, Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan and Cdr. Abdul Aziz Adam al-Hilu, Chairman and C-in-C of the SPLM/A-N has been extraordinary.

Sudan’s economic crisis is affecting living conditions and pushing more people into poverty. Nearly 9.3 million people – one in four in Sudan – will need humanitarian assistance in 2020. Around 5.8 million people are food-insecure. That number could rise to more than 10 million if wheat and fuel subsidies are removed. The cost of food has more than doubled in the past year.

WFP and its partners are ready to address rising humanitarian needs, while helping strengthen social protection systems to respond to the challenging economic situation and reduce the impact of planned subsidy reforms. WFP supports internally displaced people, refugees, and vulnerable people through a mixture of cash, food and vouchers. More robust social safety nets are needed to cushion them against the impact of macro-economic reforms.

Additional funding is needed to enable WFP to meet the increasing humanitarian needs across Sudan. WFP Sudan faces a funding shortfall of US$29 million for the next six months. This may increase, given the rising humanitarian needs.

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.

Sudan peace talks: Troika statement (11.12.2019)

Troika statement on the resumption of peace talks with Sudan armed opposition groups.

The UK, US and Norway have issued a Troika statement:

On December 10 the various Sudanese armed opposition groups met in Juba to resume peace talks. The success of these talks will be critical in Sudan’s journey towards ensuring lasting peace. The United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway (the Troika) welcome the resumption of these talks. It is our sincere hope that all interested stakeholders will join these talks and show a renewed spirit of cooperation, pragmatism, and realism to ensure these negotiations succeed. This is what the people of Sudan expect and deserve.

For too long, internal conflict was waged at the expense of Sudan’s most vulnerable people. Only lasting peace will ensure that the humanitarian and security needs of those in the areas affected by the conflicts can be met and for those marginalized areas to benefit from the changes ushered in by the creation of a civilian-led transitional government.

We urge all sides to support the formation of the Transitional Legislative Assembly and appointment of civilian governors (known as walis) by the end of December 2019. We furthermore encourage all sides to come to the talks without pre-conditions. Progress in the talks will maintain confidence in building a stable, secure, democratic and inclusive Sudan where all Sudanese are equal. It is vital that all sides demonstrate the political will to work together, and engage productively, to find solutions to outstanding issues. If they do so they will have the support of the Troika.

Sudan: UN humanitarian chief calls for urgent support to Sudan to address the most acute humanitarian needs (24.11.2019)

World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director visits Sudan to meet new government and sends off first barges to South Sudan (22.10.2019)

On his visit to Kosti, Beasley saw the three WFP-contracted barges loading 4,500 tons of food procured locally in Sudan.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, October 22, 2019 – The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley, today concluded a two-day visit to Sudan where he met leaders of the new government and travelled to Kosti to waive off the first three barges to carry humanitarian food supplies down the River Nile to South Sudan since 2011.

“This is a new dawn for Sudan, a Sudan that can positively impact the future of the whole region,” said David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme after meeting the Sudanese Prime Minister, Abdalla Hamdok. “WFP has been a long-time partner to the Sudanese people, and we’re ready to support the government and the people during this historic moment.”

On his visit to Kosti, Beasley saw the three WFP-contracted barges loading 4,500 tons of food procured locally in Sudan. They then sailed upriver to the South Sudanese towns of Renk, Malakal and Bor. These food supplies are enough to feed 370,000 people for one month. River transport of humanitarian goods between Sudan and South Sudan largely stopped when the border closed after South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

The resumption of river transport was made possible by collaboration between the two governments and a recognition by all parties that the transport of humanitarian assistance is vital to conflict-affected civilians in South Sudan.

Transporting goods up the Nile is cost-effective and provides an alternative to road transport between the two countries – important in the rainy season when roads can become blocked.

WFP has delivered a total of 265,000 tons of humanitarian assistance across land borders to South Sudan since 2014.

This was David Beasley’s second visit to the country since he assumed leadership of WFP in April 2017. During his visit, Beasley also met the Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan; Deputy Chairman of the Sudan Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Hemeti; and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Labour and Social Development and the Deputy Minister of Finance where he discussed Sudan’s historic transition and the need to expand humanitarian access across the country.

Joint Communique Issued at the End of the Official Visit of H.E. Abdallah Hamdok Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (11.10.2019)

WHO responds to cholera cases in Sudan (11.09.2019)

Two cholera treatment centres are treating patients in Blue Nile State and a dedicated isolation centre has been established for cholera case management.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 11, 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with national health authorities and partners to respond to cases of cholera in Blue Nile State in south-eastern Sudan.

Between 28 August and 10 September, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health reported at least 51 cases of acute watery diarrhoea in Blue Nile State, including at least 3 deaths. Samples taken from 6 patients and sent for analysis to the Ministry’s National Public Health Laboratory showed that 4 of the 6 samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae.

“Due to suboptimal health conditions and poor safe water and sewage system structures, exacerbated by polluted water sources caused by recent floods, there is a risk of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases spreading if no immediate response interventions take place,” said Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Sudan.

To monitor and contain the outbreak, WHO has surged a team of public health experts to Blue Nile State; other international experts will soon follow. The WHO team is working with health authorities to strengthen disease surveillance, provide medical treatment for patients, distribute laboratory supplies, monitor water quality and chlorinate public water supplies, and promote health education and hygiene among affected and at-risk communities. Two cholera treatment centres are treating patients in Blue Nile State, and a dedicated isolation centre has been established for cholera case management. To date, 30 patients have been discharged after receiving treatment.

Early and effective response is the best means to stopping an outbreak in its tracks. Given the timely recognition of the cholera cases by the Federal Ministry of Health with full transparency in reporting to WHO under the International Health Regulations, and the swift scale-up of response, we are hopeful that we can soon contain this disease and minimize the number of cases,” added Dr Al-Gasseer.

Uganda: Ministry of Health – Press Release – Confirmation of an Imported Ebola Viruse Disease case in Kasese District (29.08.2019)

UNSC: Security Council Press Statement on Sudan (21.08.2019)

Sudan: A long journey ahead, even with the signed agreement

I want to be hopeful and see the best results, as the Transitional Military Council and the Forces for Freedom the Declaration of Change (FFC) signed a constitutional agreement. Which entails stipulated codes, power-sharing and timeline for a possible peaceful transition post Omar Al-Bashir.

However, the generals and warlords of the military, the ones who has been the henchmen of the 30 year old dictatorship still lingers in power. They will still have seats and command authority in the Sovereign Council. This being the likes of Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo aka Hemiti. The man whose been in-charge of Janjaweed or the Rapid Support Force. Which is known for its brutality and senseless killings in several of states in Sudan. Therefore, with the likes of him around, he will surely not give way easy to any civilian.

That’s why I am afraid that the ones in the TMC and the ones whose close allies to Al-Bashir, see this transition period and this temporary council as a bargain-chip, also the key thing. It buying time and legitimacy. As the African Union, European Union, Arabian allies and others are supporting the Constitutional Declaration and the transitional period. Without any consequences to the old guard, that did all the shady work for the previous leader. They get away with it, without even costing them anything.

So, yesterday was the signing, the handshakes, the beautiful speeches and the glimmers of hope. What time will show, if these people actually will usher in civilian rule or configure ways to takeover. The generals, the warlords of the TMC will surely use all their tricks in their possession to get the upper-hand. It would be shocking if otherwise.

Let me be clear, I hope for peace and civilian rule, where the justice prevails, where the liberty and freedom of the citizens are there. I really do, but with certain elements still lingering around. I am not sure if they want that to succeed. Because, that initially means they will loose power and have to listen to civilians telling them how to move. I am not sure if they want to shaken by them or even questioned by them. Especially, since they been allowed by previous leadership to roam around without any fear or intimidation. As long as they are loyal to the President.

That is why I am worried and hopeful. I hope for a better tomorrow. A place within the timeline of the agreement. That military becomes a tool of securing the territory and not a tool of oppression. I hope that the allies in the FFC with other units of civilian organizations gets the opportunity to run a civilian run government. However, that is a long-shot, it is built in the hope, that the henchmen and the warlords, actually stick this to agreement. That is what I am not so certain about, but I hope I am wrong. Peace.

Joint Press Release – Weekly Travel Advisory on Ebola Viruse Disease in Uganda (08.08.2019)

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