Food security is the need of the hour for Sudan right now. To meet that need, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are now sending a third batch of relief material comprising 200,000 tonnes of wheat.
In April this year, both the Middle eastern countries announced their commitment to providing 540,000 tonnes of wheat to enhance food security in Sudan. Last month, both countries shipped two batches of wheat totaling 140,000 tonnes.
Mohammad Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has shared with the media that the third lot is sufficient to the last for a period of three months.
The food supply actually comes under a Saudi Arabia-UAE joint aid package worth $3 billion (around Dh11 billion) that is aimed at supporting Sudan’s economic and financial stability.
As part of the package, Saudi Arabia and the UAE has already deposited $500 million (over Dh1.8 billion) into the Central Bank of Sudan, as an official statement from the office of the Director-General of ADFD confirms.
This amount is known to be evenly split between the two countries, to strengthen the bank’s financial position. The remainder of the aid package has been allocated to meet the urgent needs of the Sudanese population for food, medicine, petroleum derivatives, and seasonal agricultural supplies.
The relief material has been coming in consistently, unlike the promises made by EU nations for relief to come to Yemen under the several UN-run programs to meet the world’s most horrific humanitarian crises at hand.
According to official estimates of World Food Programme (WFP) run under the aegis of the United Nations, “Recorded at 3.8 million at the onset of the economic crisis in November 2017, the number of food-insecure people in Sudan has almost doubled to 6.3 million. Human capital is also a challenge, with up to 1.8 million children suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition, and a further 689,000 with Severe Acute Malnutrition.”
It is worth noting that Sudan is an African nation known to be rich in its natural resources and a reason why most nations have been vying to get control over its civil war threatened a fragile economy. The nation is finally seeing the establishment of a democracy, but its stability remains a point of debate.