9 August 2011 United Nations humanitarian workers in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region are delivering food, medical supplies and other relief items to people living in the west of the mountainous Jebel Marra, an area that has been largely cut off from outside assistance by the ongoing conflict.
Staff from several UN agencies, the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) and the Danish Refugee Council are on a week-long mission to West Jebel Marra to distribute aid, according to a press release issued by the mission.
Aid workers aim to deliver more than 360 kilograms of food and medical supplies, up to 2.5 tons of plastic sheets or tarpaulins and 50 high-capacity rolling water containers, as well as blankets, soaps, kitchen sets and other non-food items. They will also assess the latest humanitarian conditions on the ground during the mission, which began on Sunday.
Oriano Micaletti, the head of UNAMID’s humanitarian protection strategy coordination division, said this week’s mission is part of broader efforts by the mission to support aid agencies as they deliver assistance to remote areas that had previously been cut off for months or years because of conflict or insecurity.
Large areas of the remote Jebel Marra have been cut off because of continued fighting between Government forces, allied militiamen and rebels based in the area. Conflict has raged in Darfur since 2003, and as many as 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed and 2.7 million others displaced.
The mission – which includes representatives of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – is slated to cover a series of towns and villages, including Nertiti, Kutrum, Kiwilla, Thur, Golo and Killin.
It follows Operation Spring Basket, a joint UNAMID-OCHA initiative earlier this year aimed at establishing permanent and safe humanitarian access to remote areas.
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