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[Bridge to Africa] Korean NGO vows $10m medical donation to Sudan

By Sanjay Kumar

Published : May 14, 2024 - 13:34

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Sudanese Ambassador to Korea Amira Agarib(left) and Global Life Sharing Foundation President Kim Jong-nam pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding at Sudanese Embassy in Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Friday. (Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald) Sudanese Ambassador to Korea Amira Agarib(left) and Global Life Sharing Foundation President Kim Jong-nam pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding at Sudanese Embassy in Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Friday. (Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald)

Global Life Sharing, a Korean non-governmental organization, has decided to support Sudan's humanitarian efforts by pledging to donate essential medicines and relief supplies worth $10 million for the next five years, Sudan Embassy in Seoul said Friday.

During a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, Sudanese ambassador to Korea Amira Agarib expressed her gratitude to the NGO and reaffirmed the African country's commitment to deepen its partnership with the organization for urgently needed critical aid such as acute shortage of pharmaceutical supplies in Khartoum and Darfur amid a worsening humanitarian situation.

Pharmacies and distribution centers in Khartoum and Darfur are facing huge problems due to damage and disruption.

“Half of the factories are damaged and the situation in Darfur is the worst,” said Agarib stressing support for the stock of essential and emergency medicine.

“Life-saving and sustaining medicines especially for kidney, cancer patients and the vaccination of children has stopped,” underlined Agarib.

According to the United Nations, Sudan is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in recent history after nearly a year of war amid international inattention and inaction and the situation in Sudan is dire with over 8.4 million people including 2 million children under the age of five forced to flee their homes in the wake of the conflict.

“Nearly 20 million people face acute food insecurity. 14 million of them are children and over 70 percent of hospitals are no longer functional amid rise in infectious disease and almost 5 million people could sleep into catastrophic food insecurity in some parts of the country in the coming month," Agarib told The Korea Herald citing UN data.

Sudanese Ambassador to Korea Amira Agarib speaks at a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding at Sudanese Embassy in Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Friday. (Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald) Sudanese Ambassador to Korea Amira Agarib speaks at a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding at Sudanese Embassy in Seoul in Yongsan-gu, Seoul on Friday. (Sanjay Kumar/The Korea Herald)

"730,000 Sudanese children are believed to be suffering from severe malnutrition and also facing the prospect of starving starving to death,” she added.

Agarib called for urgent international assistance to avert what could potentially become the world's largest hunger crisis, urging concerted efforts to mobilize support from both governmental and non-governmental entities.

Despite the dire circumstances, only a fraction of the required humanitarian response for Sudan has been funded so far, said the ambassador.

Kim Jong-nam, President of Global Life Sharing, reiterated the organization's commitment to providing much-needed medical supplies to Sudan, despite delays caused by unforeseen circumstances such as conflicts in the Middle East.

“Global life sharing is committed to initiating the first shipment as soon as maritime operations stabilize with a pledge to support Sudan with $10 million worth of essential medicine and supplies over the next five years,”

But he said that despite the organization’s initial plans for a shipment in January this year unforeseen circumstances such as conflicts in the Middle East have caused delays.

“We are steadfast in our resolve and will proceed with the shipment once maritime operations are conducive,” said Kim.

“It is our fervent hope that this support will significantly benefit the people of Sudan,” Kim told The Korea Herald.

Meanwhile, Hong Sang-tae, a medical doctor and professor emeritus at Seoul National University, hailed the memorandum of understanding as a symbol of a new era of collaboration between Sudan and Korea.

Despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing armed conflicts, Hong emphasized the importance of sustained efforts in addressing Sudan's pressing challenges.