Egypt has revealed a plan to send humanitarian aid shipments to South Sudan on a regular basis during a meeting between Egypt’s ambassador and the nation’s President Salva Kiir in Juba earlier this week.
South Sudan has been suffering from an ongoing food and water crisis since the start of the civil war in 2013.
The consignments, which include food as well as medical supplies, will be one of many support drops that Egypt has committed to sending to the capital city, Juba, in upcoming months, confirmed Egypt’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, assigned to the region, Ahmed Fadel Yaguop.
The Egyptian military will oversee the humanitarian aid shipments ordered by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Famine and Drought in South Sudan
In February of this year, the United Nations declared a severe famine in parts of the country, warning that half of the population – 5.5 million citizens – would be unable to consistently secure food and water by July.
The civil war and resulting famine forced over 2 million children within the nation to leave their homes, reported the UN.
Serge Tissot, a representative for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, said: “Our worst fears have been realised. Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive. The people are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture.”
“They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch,” added Tissot.
Egypt has been in talks with South Sudan’s government since it was initially formed in 2011, and was of the first to officially recognise the new nation’s independence.
According to Mayiik Ayiik Deng, the president of South Sudan’s ambassador, the recent talks are “historic” for relations between both Nile basin countries.