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US Government and UNICEF team up to support flood relief for Sudan

Donation of plastic sheeting airlifted into Khartoum to provide temporary shelter for affected families

KHARTOUM, 8 August 2007 - The United States Government and UNICEF have joined forces to provide temporary shelter for 78,000 households affected by recent flooding in the north of Sudan, through an in-kind donation of 1,300 rolls of plastic sheeting.

The materials will be used as part of the Common Pipeline System, a quick-response distribution network managed by the UN Joint Logistics Centre, UNICEF and the non-governmental organization CARE International. The Pipeline has already provided urgent supplies to some 200,000 people affected by floods in nine states in the north of Sudan. The UN estimates that some 365,000 people have been hit by flooding in these areas, with rising river levels and the expectation of more heavy rain likely to increase that number in coming weeks.

The plastic sheeting, weighing some 65 metric tonnes, was airlifted into Khartoum today aboard a specially-chartered relief flight. US Charge d’Affaires to Sudan Alberto M. Fernandez and UNICEF Representative, Ted Chaiban were joined by Under-Secretary for the Sudanese Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Charles Manyang to take delivery of the supplies.

As part of the Common Pipeline, and through its own individual contributions, UNICEF has ensured that at least 300,000 flood-affected people in nine states of north Sudan – including some 153,000 children – have been assisted with provision of items such as blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping nets, jerry cans, primary health kits containing essential drugs and medical supplies, chlorine tablets, soap and oral rehydration salts. In Southern Sudan, where three states have reported significant flooding, UNICEF has also provided mosquito nets, cooking sets, blankets, plastic sheeting and soap in response to an estimated 150,000 people being affected.

Speaking on behalf of the Common Pipeline partners, Ted Chaiban recognised the value of effective collaboration in times of emergency, saying “It is critical that there is a speedy and appropriate response to meet immediate needs – that is being achieved in Sudan’s flood-affected regions because the Government, the international community, the UN and the non-governmental organizations have worked together.”

“The people you see around me this morning are invaluable partners,” added Chaiban. “Each actor works like a cog in the machine, complementing and adding value to one another.”

Note for Editors: In 2004, the Non-Food Items (NFI) Common Pipeline was developed to respond to displacement in Darfur.  In 2007, the NFI Common Pipeline was expanded to cover all of North Sudan. The operation is managed by the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) to centralize procurement, transport and warehousing of non-food items, reducing overhead costs and administration by creating a single supply chain. Non-food items for the Common Pipeline are procured and shipped by UNICEF, after which they are delivered to CARE, which acts as logistics service provider. CARE receives commodities, manages warehousing and arranges transport to state capital hubs and on to various distribution points.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:
Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Sudan, +249 183 471835, ecawardine@unicef.org
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media New York, 212 326 7426, pmccormick@unicef.org
Rafael Hermoso, UNICEF Media New York, 212 326 7516, rhermoso@unicef.org
Veronique Taveau, UNICEF Media Geneva, Tel: +41 22 909 5716 vtaveau@unicef.org




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