Concerned over access to those needing aid, UN officials press Sudan to end flight ban
Responding to a government flight ban, Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) – the United Nations umbrella group providing aid to the country – today suspended air deliveries into southern Sudan, where some 3 million people are in need of humanitarian aid.
Extremely concerned at the situation, UN officials are holding discussions with the Sudanese Government, which said it imposed the ban for security reasons, in an effort to get the decision reversed.
“This is the first time in the history of the operation that all flights into southern Sudan have been stopped,” said OLS spokesman Martin Dawes. “This is extremely serious for us.”
Because of the flight ban, which covers the Eastern and Western Equatoria regions, no UN flights can get into any part of southern Sudan.
OLS brings together the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and more than 35 non-governmental organizations (NGOs).