Humanitarian flights delivering aid to South Sudan kick off

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A massive airlift has been launched from the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to South Sudan carrying urgently needed aid for people fleeing the conflict, according to the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR's first chartered Airbus300 aircraft landed around noon on Tuesday, carrying 32 metric tons of supplies including sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, water buckets and kitchen sets.

Ms. Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba of UNHCR says close to 5 million people need humanitarian aid.

"Today, UNHCR was airlifting more relief supplies from Dubai directly to Juba, for some 100,000 displaced people. The blankets, sleeping mats, water buckets and other relief items would be distributed mainly in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states. Once the rainy season began in earnest in a few weeks, roads in these areas would become impassable for weeks on end."

The remaining eight flights will deliver an additional 256 metric tons of relief from UNHCR’s global stockpiles in Dubai and will be distributed to displaced people in the troubled Unity, Upper Nile and Jongeli states, the agency adds.

UNHCR estimates that the aid supplies and nine flights will cost around US$ 2.6 million.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21”

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