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KOSTI - 29 Dec 2015

Kosti-Renk river corridor reopened

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced the successful resumption of barge traffic on the Nile River between Kosti and Renk and Wadakona.

A WFP-contracted barge traveling from the Sudanese town of Kosti has offloaded some 450 metric tons of food in the Upper Nile state towns of Renk and Wadakona in South Sudan, according to a press release by the UN agency. 

“The shipment will provide food for an estimated 28,000 people for a month, and is part of an operation launched in November to move food assistance to South Sudan through the Republic of Sudan,” reads the statement.

The UN agency says this is the first time since several years ago that the river route between Sudan and South Sudan has been used for humanitarian food deliveries. The use of river transport for traffic of humanitarian goods across the border largely stopped after South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

WFP Acting South Sudan Country Director Stephen Kearney said that the reopening of the river route “will make an enormous difference in our efforts to bring food assistance to people in critical need.”

The river barges help reduce reliance on air operations. WFP-contracted helicopters and airplanes have completed thousands of flights over the last year in South Sudan carrying food and nutrition supplies. According to WFP, air transport costs six to seven times as much as moving food by river and road.

The UN agency is also using trucks to move food from Sudan into Upper Nile State. The operation began in November when a convoy of 18 trucks delivered 700 metric tons of food to Renk and Melut.