First U.N. charter plane with urgent medical supplies lands in South Sudan

The first United Nations Children's Fund charter plane, loaded with urgent health care and water sanitation supplies, landed at the Juba International Airport in South Sudan on Tuesday.

The plane was one of two, each carrying 35 tons of supplies, that are scheduled to supply urgent supplies to the women and children of South Sudan, including medical treatment for malaria, malnutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia and vitamins, antibiotics, pain killers and nutrients for children. The second plane is scheduled to arrive in South Sudan on Thursday.

"These essential and life-saving supplies will help thousands of children and women in desperate need across South Sudan," UNICEF Deputy Director of Emergency Programmes Dermot Carty said.

Since the conflict began in South Sudan, it is estimated more than 500,000 people have fled from their homes. Nearly 80 percent of refugees in Protection of Civilian centers of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan are women and children, who are at risk of disease and malnutrition.

"Children are dying from malnutrition and diseases that can be prevented in times of peace - such as measles and malaria," Carty said. "Our most urgent plea now is for all parties in the conflict to allow these humanitarian supplies to be transported and distributed safely to the children who have no part in this conflict. Each day we lose, we fail the children of South Sudan."