Security members escort the convoys carrying food materials through the humanitarian corridor from Sudan's El Obied to Bentiu in Bahr el Ghazal State of South Soudan, May 19, 2017. The humanitarian corridors recently opened by Sudan government have contributed to the delivery of humanitarian aid to South Sudanese citizens and to lessening the famine there, according to aid organizations. (Xinhua/Mohamed Babiker)
KHARTOUM, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The humanitarian corridors recently opened by Sudan government have contributed to the delivery of humanitarian aid to South Sudanese citizens and to lessening the famine there, according to aid organizations.
Lama Baiesa, Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Office in North Kordofan State, told reporters in El Obied Friday that the humanitarian corridors recently opened by Sudan government have helped in lessening the famine, namely at South Sudan's Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal areas.
He said the WFP has steered 10 convoys carrying around 20,000 metric tons of food materials through the humanitarian corridor from El Obied to Bentiu in Bahr el Ghazal State, noting that the matter has lessened the suffering of those facing the risk of famine.
"Today we would steer the 10th convoy of 38 trucks carrying 1,800 metric tons of food materials, including corn and some sheltering materials," he noted.
Baiesa explained that the WFP, the local authorities and international partners are racing with time to deliver the biggest amount of humanitarian assistance before the advent of the rainy season which would block the roads.
He reiterated that the humanitarian aid is flowing smoothly through the humanitarian corridors without any major barriers.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Babikir Al-Hassan, Humanitarian Aid Commissioner in North Kordofan State, said that the humanitarian corridors have saved the time, decreased the cost and contributed to the delivery of assistance to the needy.
Earlier, Khartoum has opened three humanitarian corridors to deliver humanitarian aid to the citizens of South Sudan at a time when international efforts are increasing to lessen the famine in the new-born state.
The first land corridor extends from El Obied in North Kordofan to Heglig in South Kordofan and from there to Rubkona town in South Sudan's Unity State and then to Bentiu in Bahr el Ghazal State, the most affected area by the famine.
The second corridor extends from Sudan's White Nile State to the northeast areas of South Sudan, while the third corridor links El Obied in Sudan's North Kordofan with Aweil town in South Sudan's Bahr el Ghazal.
These humanitarian corridors help reduce reliance on air operations, which cost six to seven times in moving food by river and road.
In addition to the land corridors, Khartoum has also promised to open a river corridor linking Kosti town in central Sudan with South Sudanese ports.
The convoys need approximately four days to complete the journey which extends for 500 km.
At least 7.5 million people across South Sudan, almost two thirds of the total population, need humanitarian assistance, according to UN statistics.
South Sudan earlier announced that nearly five million people were facing the risk of famine which already hit areas in Unity State and approaching Bahr el Ghazal State.
The famine was attributed to many reasons including the civil war and collapse of the economy in the new-born state.