Minister Andrews meets aid workers to discuss Sudan famine relief effort
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr David Andrews, T.D., who is in Nairobi on his way to Southern Sudan, has met with representatives of Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Kenyan Capital. .
Mr Andrews met with the US Ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, and conveyed the Government’s sympathy on the recent bombing at the Embassy. Minister Andrews later travelled to Lokichoggio in Northern Kenya where the international aid effort for the Southern Sudan is based. The Minister met the representatives of the three Irish agencies operating in the Sudan - Concern, GOAL and Trocaire - and received an extensive briefing on their relief operations there. Operation Lifeline Sudan which is coordinating the international relief effort briefed the Minister on the political and humanitarian responses required to address the severe crisis in the Sudan. Minister Andrews stressed the need for continued and sustained access for aid agencies to famine-affected areas. He stressed the necessity to develop overland options for the delivery of food and aid.
Mr Andrews has called on the Sudanese Government and the Southern-Sudan based SPLA to exert more control over militias and to prevent banditry and diversion of aid. The Minister stressed the importance of ensuring conditions for the sowing and planting of crops to alleviate the hunger gap next year. It is estimated that it will take 18 months to bring the Sudanese people out of the current crisis. The Minister said that the current temporary ceasefire needs to be prolonged and geographic spread expanded.
Minister Andrews underlined Ireland’s strong support for the newly appointed UN Special Envoy for the Sudan whom he plans to meet tomorrow. Mr Andrews travels tomorrow morning to the tragic epicentre of the famine at Ajiep in Western Sudan.