DR Congo

World Vision convoy to deliver food through rebel-held areas in DR Congo

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This Saturday, a convoy of 12 boats carrying relief food, will begin travelling 460 kilometres up the Congo River much of it through rebel-held territory. The trip marks the first time in more than two years that a relief agency has been allowed into this region in the southeast part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The initiative, a partnership between World Vision and the World Food Program, will deliver more than 600 metric tons of food to Ankoro. The town was destroyed by fighting in November, 2002, leaving 62,000 people in dire circumstances.

"The people of Ankoro are in desperate need of food and we're grateful to be able to make this delivery," said Colleen Taylor, a Canadian nutritionist with World Vision. Taylor, arrived in the DRC last November to implement emergency nutrition interventions.

The trip came about after the rebels agreed to allow the agency to travel through their territory. The relief community is watching the effort with interest to see if the shipment arrives without incident next Tuesday (March 4).

"It's an important step, and we're hoping it leads to easier access for all aid agencies in the area," said Taylor.

Rudy Weins, a commodities officer with World Vision will be on the convoy when it departs from the town of Bukama to begin its journey on Saturday. Weins will travel up river with the supplies and oversee their distribution in Ankoro. The shipment of maize flour, cooking oil, sugar and salt, and is valued at $500,000.