JOHANNESBURG, 10 February (IRIN)
- The World Food Programme (WFP) has performed its first food airdrops
in Angola in 10 years in a bid to reach people cut off from road transport
in Luvemba, in the central highlands.
The airdrops were successfully made on Thursday and Friday to Luvemba, in Huambo Province (138 km from the provincial capital). Two loads were dropped on Thursday and three on Friday, with a total of 86 mt of food, to be distributed to 4,920 needy people, WFP said in a statement.
Access to Luvemba by truck had become impossible due to poor road conditions, aggravated by the rains. The last one-month distribution of WFP food in Luvemba was in November.
In order to ensure that the area chosen for the air drops was free of mines, a team from Halo Trust, a demining NGO, went earlier in the week to Luvemba to perform "mine verification" of the site. Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment was used for marking the area.
WFP said there were no further places earmarked for food airdrops in Angola, which are both more expensive than traditional road haulage and far more complex.
"It will only be done if there are compelling needs and conditions in place," WFP spokesman Marcelo Spina-Hering told IRIN.
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