24 February 2013 - Aiming to effectively assist vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas, humanitarian agencies today started to move supplies to Jonglei State’s Pibor County.
A total of 22 trucks, loaded with life-saving humanitarian food and non-food items, were part of a convoy that brought the assistance to Pibor, a remote county which is difficult to reach once the rains start. The supplies were donated by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the non-governmental organizations Polish Humanitarian Action (PHA) and Inter SOS.
UNMISS peacekeepers from the Indian Battalion in the state, led by Lt. Col. Nitin Kaul, provided military escort for their convoy. Such assistance is part of their mandate to provide security to humanitarian personnel, installations and relief aid.
“Pibor is cut off for eight months of the year so we have a very small window of opportunity to bring in as much supplies as possible,” said Andrew Jackson, a WFP Logistics Officer. “… We believe that this aid will have a tremendous impact to save the lives of vulnerable people in the region.”
Mr. Jackson said that the assistance of the peacekeeping forces is important as the precarious security situation in the area is still affecting the ability of humanitarian organizations to reach vulnerable people.
Convoys to the area will be sent every ten days for the remainder of the dry season, which is expected to end in April.