WFP airlifts emergency gear from Ghana to aid troubled Central African Republic

News and Press Release
Originally published
Accra, 18 May 2007 - WFP announced today that it was airlifting 31 metric tons of equipment from its Humanitarian Response Depot (HRD) in Ghana to support the agency's recently upgraded life-saving operation in the strife-torn Central African Republic.

The equipment, including temporary storage facilities, living accommodations and accompanying tool kits, is scheduled to depart the Ghanaian capital today onboard a WFP-chartered Illyushin 76 cargo jet for the three-hour flight to Bangui in CAR.

"In a matter of hours, we are going to move our gear from Accra into CAR, where it will be immediately deployed to support our complex logistics operation there," said Amer Daoudi, Associate Director of WFP's transport division.

Crumbling roads

In order to reach at least 230,000 people affected by the current crisis in CAR, WFP is urgently scaling up its logistics capacity at an additional operational cost of US$3.5 million over the next nine months.

As part of the same effort, WFP earlier this week moved a fleet of 25 6X6 all-terrain trucks overland into CAR along with storage and living accommodation equipment. Funds are also required to repair crumbling roads and bridges.

"This airlift from our Accra Humanitarian Response Depot confirms the importance for WFP of the global network of HRDs we are operating," said Daoudi. "Airlifting equipment we had pre-positioned in Accra is resulting in huge savings of time and money."

Global network

HRD Accra is part of the Global Network established by WFP to build on the success of the agency's original UNHRD in Brindisi, Italy.

In addition to Accra and Brindisi, other hubs have been established in Panama City and Dubai in order to support the emergency response effort of the UN, governments and international humanitarian organisations and NGOs. A fifth depot is planned for South East Asia.

Contact us

Marcus Prior
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Brenda Barton
Deputy Director
Communications WFP/Rome
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Gregory Barrow
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Cécile Sportis
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Jennifer Parmelee
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Bettina Luescher
WFP/New York
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