Sudan, UN sign deal to support S. Sudanese refugees

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Sudan and the United Nations Development Programme on Sunday signed a deal worth 21 million U.S. dollars to support host communities of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan's White Nile State, said Sudan's Commission of Refugees in a statement.

The deal is to be implemented in three stages, according to the statement.

The two sides on Sunday launched the first stage of the deal to provide the host communities with machinery and equipment including tractors, agricultural harvesters and water pumps at the cost of 2.2 million dollars, the statement said.

The most important stage of the project is the rehabilitation of the agricultural projects, provision of electricity and re-cultivation of lands, Hamad Al-Jizouli, Sudan's commissioner of refugees, was quoted in the statement as saying.

He said that the White Nile State, on the border with South Sudan, is currently hosting over 150,000 South Sudanese refugees inside camps and more than 88,000 refugees in the cities around the state.

A recent UN report indicated that the number of the South Sudanese refugees in Sudan reached 762,900 as by Sept. 15.

South Sudan has been witnessing a civil war since December 2013, which has displaced hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese citizens to neighboring countries including Sudan.

On Sept. 13, South Sudan's conflicting parties signed a final peace deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after negotiations brokered in Khartoum by Sudan government with a mandate by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development in Africa.

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