China delivered 1,500 metric tonnes of rice in support of the international humanitarian efforts to provide critical assistance to nearly over 2 million displaced people affected by the four-year conflict in South Sudan.
The 1,5000 tonnes represents the first batch of 8,800 tonnes of rice to that China pledged last April.
In press statements on Friday, The Chinese embassy in Juba said the 60 containers of rice had been handed over to the government agency, South Sudan’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC).
“As a true friend and sincere partner of South Sudan, China will continuously provide strong support to South Sudan in the process of peaceful reconstruction,” said Li Xiangfeng, charge d’affaires in Juba.
For his part, the RRC deputy chairman praised the humanitarian assistance adding that it will be used to fill the food shortage in the conflict-affected areas.
Chinese authorities prefer to deal directly with South Sudanese humanitarian authorities instead of distributing their humanitarian contribution via the World Food Programme.
Last June Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told an international forum on famine prevention in Geneva that food insecurity and overall humanitarian needs have severely deteriorated across the South Sudan.
“The number of people in IPC Phase 4 – that is one step away from famine – has increased from 1 million to 1.7 million, and the number of severely food insecure people has increased from 5 to 6 million,” O’Brien said.
He further stressed that more people are on the brink of famine across the troubled eastern Africa country today than they were in February.