April 12, 2006 (NAIROBI) — The World Food Program (WFP) Wednesday welcomed a donation of 8.7 million U.S. dollars from theBritish Department for International Development earmarked for theUN food agency’s giant road works project in southern Sudan.
In a statement issued in Nairobi, WFP said the money would be used immediately to do emergency repairs to two bridges and sections of carriageway between Kaya on the Ugandan border and thetown of Rumbek, which is WFP’s most important logistical hub within southern Sudan.
“Some of the money will also be spent clearing landmines from key roadways across the country,” said WFP.
“The UK government’s donation will allow us to continue our work for only so long. We urge donors to open their hearts and their wallets so we can finish the entire roads project on time and provide a peace dividend to the people of southern Sudan,” WFPSudan Regional Director Ramiro Lopes da Silva said in the statement.
The UN agency is rebuilding more than 3,000 km of roads in the war-ravaged region at a cost of 183 million dollars.
Two decades of fighting between the north and the south, which ended last year, almost completely destroyed southern Sudan’s roadnetwork.
Since late 2003, WFP has rebuilt roughly 1,400 km of roads, repaired bridges and culverts, and removed and destroyed some 200, 000 pieces of unexploded landmines.
Already entering into its final stages, the project has linked major towns across southern Sudan and reopened trade routes with neighboring countries.