UN launches $2.5m aid airlift for Sudanese refugees

20th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugee agency launched a major airlift of supplies from Kenya to South Sudan on Tuesday to bring aid to 50,000 Sudanese refugees, the organisation said.

The first of 18 flights packed with 12 tons of sleeping and cooking equipment left Nairobi bound for South Sudan's Malakal airport, the UNHCR said.

The $2.5 million (1.9 million euros) of supplies, including blankets and mosquito nets, will then be transported by road to either Maban county in Upper Nile State or westwards to Unity State.

The UNHCR said it also expected to send 10,000 tents to South Sudan from a warehouse in Dubai in the coming weeks.

Tens of thousands of people have fled Sudan's Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states since a conflict erupted there in September between government forces and fighters aligned to the ex-southern rebels of newly independent South Sudan.

UNHCR officials did not say how long the $1.5 million air operation would take.

© 2011 AFP

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