UN, partners deliver possible relief as Sudan truce extension welcomed

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With humanitarian aid deliveries wherever possible in Sudan during a spotty truce, authorities across the globe welcomed the ceasefire extension, a UN spokesman said on Friday, reported Xinhua.

In a joint statement, members of the Trilateral Mechanism — the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the United Nations — and the Quad countries welcomed the announcement by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to extend the ceasefire for an additional 72 hours, and called for its full implementation, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Dujarric said members of the Trilateral Mechanism and the Quad countries, which are Britain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, also welcomed the two sides' expressed readiness to engage in dialogue toward establishing a more durable cessation of hostilities and ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access.

On the humanitarian front, the United Nations and its partners continue to deliver whenever and wherever feasible, particularly in the areas of health and nutrition, he said.

The World Health Organization said it has stocks of essential medicines, blood bags, supplies for surgery and trauma care waiting to be delivered as soon as access is safe. An additional shipment of medical supplies is scheduled to arrive in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.

"Partners continue to support the operations of 65 health facilities in five states throughout Sudan, providing staffing support, medical consumables, supplies and pharmaceuticals," said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN Population Fund said that local organizations and networks are providing support to people facing gender-based violence. The response is now focused mainly on remote service provision, and some counselors are offering voluntary support to undertake remote psychosocial services.

OCHA said its partners kept health and nutrition programs running in Blue Nile state. Refugee camps in Gedaref, Kassala, White Nile and Blue Nile, and refugee settlements in South and West Kordofan, are receiving essential services, including health and water.

"In Gedaref, our partners are providing life-saving services to refugees and host communities," the humanitarian office said.

However, the situation is particularly alarming in El-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state. The office said there are continuing reports of the killing of civilians, including medical personnel.

The UN Refugee Agency warned that the conflict is devastatingly impacting the civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced people across the country. The agency said it works with partners and governments to deploy supplies wherever safe.

OCHA said its partners report some 3,000 people crossed the Sudanese border into the Central African Republic (CAR) and are living in spontaneous settlements. Local authorities are exploring possibly relocating them to Birao, far from the border region. More refugees are expected, further disrupting traffic along the border.

The office said Sudan is a significant supplier of essential commodities to the CAR. That commerce will be tested with the rainy season just beginning and running through October.

"Some 120,000 people were already in need of humanitarian assistance in the northern part of the CAR," and the most pressing needs include emergency shelter, food and clean water, said OCHA.

Dujarric, the UN spokesman, expressed gratitude to the French government for taking more than 400 UN personnel and their dependents out of Sudan, and appreciation for other countries assisting in ensuring the safe transport of UN personnel.

Dujarric said the United Nations remains present in Sudan, with a hub with the leadership of the UN mission operating out of Port Sudan to remain with the people of Sudan.

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Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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