WFP Executive Director visits Sudan in April.
Humanitarian workers continue to face travel restrictions in Darfur.
Fire causes major displacement of over 3,700 IDPs in North Darfur.
WFP receives a generous US$55 million pledge from the Government of South Sudan.
WFP expands support to TB/HIV programmes in Kassala State, Eastern Sudan.
WFP provides food assistance to 38,000 returnees in Blue Nile from January to April 2007.
WFP Executive Director visits Sudan
WFP Executive Director, Ms. Josette Sheeran, visited Sudan in the period 25-28 April 2007. During her three-day visit, Ms. Sheeran visited Khartoum, El Fasher and Kutum in North Darfur and Juba in South Sudan before heading to Chad. The Executive Director, accompanied by the Regional Representative, Mr. Kenro Oshidari, met with the First Vice President of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Minister of Roads and Transport in South Sudan who pledged to further fund WFP's special operation for road construction and rehabilitation in the South. The Executive Director visited one of the schools supported through WFP school feeding programme in Juba. She also visited Kassab IDP camp in North Darfur.
In April, WFP provided 24,572 MT of food aid to some 2.1 million beneficiaries in Darfur. However, due to prevailing violence and the subsequent lack of access, WFP was unable to reach about 62,600 people in South Darfur.
Insecurity persists throughout Darfur
The threat level to humanitarian activities remains high, with continuing insecurity throughout Darfur. Armed banditry and carjacking remain to be the main threats to the humanitarian community. In North Darfur, on 16 April five WFP staff travelling in two WFP Land cruisers were carjacked during an assessment mission near Zamzam camp. The staff were released unharmed, with one of the cars recovered two days later. In West Darfur a notable increase in carjacking incidents was observed as a total of six vehicles were taken in April alone. In South Darfur, there was a considerable decrease in carjacking. However, insecurity shifted towards criminal acts targeting the humanitarian community through incidents of shootings, lootings and abductions.
Fire causes major damage in Rwanda Camp, North Darfur
In Tawila, North Darfur, a fire broke out at Rwanda camp completely burning and seriously damaging one-third of homes. Following an inter-agency assessment mission, WFP distributed 33 MT of emergency food assistance to approximately 3,755 IDPs affected by the fire.
Humanitarian workers continue to face travel restrictions in Darfur
Authorities continue to restrict aid workers from travelling around the Darfur region, violating agreements signed by the Government. On 30 April, three UN staff were temporarily detained at the Nyala airport in South Darfur.
THE REST OF SUDAN
WFP resumes general food distribution in Northern Bahr El Ghazal
WFP resumed food distribution activities in Northern Bahr El Ghazal following the lifting of the ban on large gatherings in an attempt to minimize the spread of meningitis. In April, WFP provided 1,200 MT of food to 35,000 beneficiaries under general food distribution in the state.
WFP received a generous US$55 million pledge from the Government of South Sudan
The Minister of Roads and Transport, Rebecca Garang Nyandeng, in a meeting with the WFP Executive Director (ED), Ms. Josette Sheeran announced a US$ 55 million contribution in support of the expansion of WFP's road repairs and mine clearance project, as well as the rehabilitation of several airstrips in South Sudan. Last year, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) donated US$30 million to the roads project. The project has rebuilt nearly 2,000 kilometers of roads and removed more than 200,000 unexploded ordinance in the region since 2004. A further 1,000 km of roads are scheduled to be rebuilt in 2007. The road repair and mine clearance of key transport routes in Sudan has improved access and facilitated returns of displaced people as well as enhance WFP food deliveries to the South.
WFP easing the burden on women through distribution of hand-mills
Women face tremendous difficulties in milling cereal grains provided by WFP due to poor basic infrastructure, access to commercial mills is limited, in most cases unaffordable. Results of livelihood surveys recently conducted have shown that returnee women have indicated difficulties faced in the milling process as women have to walk far distances to the nearest mill. This, in addition to the burden of grinding cereal cost due to limited sources of income. Consequently, provision of hand mills will improve communities' livelihoods and reduce women burden and time consumed in flour preparation that in turn, would be devoted to improving children rearing and livelihood opportunities. Moreover, distribution of hand mills will help reduce future displacement. In an effort to achieve the above, WFP is providing hand-mills to women groups to make milling easier and more accessible, as well as to provide income generating opportunities for women while reinforcing women participation in the community. In April, 600 hand-mills were distributed to women groups in the Darfur region and the Central, East and Three Areas. In Kassab camp, North Darfur, WFP Executive Director, Ms. Jossette Sheeran, had the pleasure of physically distributing 42 hand-mills to women in the camp during her first field visit to Darfur. WFP, in consultation with the Ministry of Education, will conduct a needs assessment to determine additional locations where hand-mills will be of great benefit to women.
WFP mission to Kassala meets with the State Governor (Wali) and UNHCR
A WFP mission from the Regional Office in Khartoum, headed by the Deputy Director, met with the State Wali and the Head of RCO in Kassala. During the meeting, the Wali expressed gratitude to WFP for continued support to families affected by Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as the school feeding programme. The Wali recognized a continued need for food aid, particularly with the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, which has paved the way for peace and security. The Wali requested an expansion of the school feeding programme to include girls' secondary boarding schools, adult education/literacy programmes targeting women, food-for-work projects that enhance food security, land mine awareness programmes as well as assistance to IDPs, particularly those returning to their places of origin. The mission held a second meeting with UNHCR to discuss the pending UNHCR/WFP Joint Plan of Action and Tripartite Agreement for 2007. The mission reaffirmed the agreement of both agencies on the principle of targeting food assistance in refugee camps and that all efforts must be made to start the targeting in May 2007. It was agreed that a new beneficiary list will be generated from the 2001 beneficiary database by applying the agreed upon vulnerability criteria. General food distributions for some 85,000 refugees will continue through June 2007, with plans to start targeted food distributions to approximately 37,000 refugees as of July 2007, applying the vulnerability criteria to generate new lists for the most vulnerable from the updated database.