Sudan Annan commends government and rebel group on aid access agreement

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today commended the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on their agreement allowing humanitarian workers unimpeded access to all Sudanese people in need in every part of the country. The accord, which takes effect today, will allow aid to reach as many as 1 million people who have not been able to receive relief supplies. “The Secretary-General urges the international donor community to provide Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) with the resources necessary to meet the needs of the growing numbers of beneficiaries,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said, referring to the UN-led consortium of relief organizations operating in the country. The spokesman also reiterated the UN’s full support for peace process at Machakos, Kenya, being led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization comprising Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Thanks to the new agreement, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that it will be able to reach 585,000 more beneficiaries who require $19 million worth of food aid over the next five months. So far, OLS has received only $124 million of the $275 million sought by the UN to help the Sudan this year. On 19 November, the UN will launch its 2003 appeal for the country, requesting $255 million for relief, rehabilitation and peacebuilding programmes. read more