The Niger crisis - WFP operational update 29 Jul 2005

Italy-Niger Airlift: WFP's airlift of emergency food rations to Niger took off on schedule today from its humanitarian response depot in Brindisi, southern Italy. The Ilyushin 76 aircraft, its hold packed with 44 metric tons of high-energy biscuits, will reach Niger's capital Niamey this evening. A technical fault had delayed the flight by 24-hours.
The same aircraft will return to Brindisi on Saturday ready to make a second airlift on July 31 to the same destination.

Together, the two airlifts will carry a total of 70 metric tons of high energy biscuits -- enough to feed 100,000 of Niger's hungry -- as well as essential non-food items, such as generators and mobile warehouses.

The first 44 ton batch of biscuits delivered today will be trucked to three of the worst-hit areas of Niger: Maradi, Tahoua and Tillaberi, with distribution to some 62,000 hungry set to start early next week.

WFP supplies its vitamin-fortified high-energy biscuits to the victims of severe food crises. They are essential to give people energy and strength whilst they wait for full food rations to arrive.

Cote d'Ivoire-Niger Airlift: from Niamey, the Ilyushin will travel to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire to pick-up some 186 metric tons of Corn Soya Blend for transport to Niger.

Distribution: WFP remains on course to reach its target of delivering 4220 tonnes of food aid by the end of the week. The food aid is either already in the hands of WFP's non-governmental partners or en route to distribution sites.

Online Donations: WFP's Help Niger Now online appeal has received an extraordinary response. To date, individuals clicking on have donated US$240,000 toward WFP's emergency operation. Despite the public's generosity, WFP's US$16 million appeal is still underfunded.

Funding: to date, WFP's emergency operation in Niger has received US$ 11.5 million. In addition to multilateral donations amounting to US$1.8 million, donors include: Australia (US$1.5 million); Germany (US$1.5 million); United States (US$1.5 million); Luxembourg (US$1.2 million); Italy (US$1.2 million); EuropeAid (US$1.2 million); UK (US$912,000); New Zealand (US$349,650); Denmark (US$279,000); Switzerland (US$39,062); private donors (Veolia Environnement, US$12,000; Petronas US$20,000).

Niger needs your help. To make an online donation, visit

For all the latest updates on WFP's emergency operation in Niger, visit

For more information please contact (email address:

Chris Endean, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39-06-65132108, Mob +39-348 155 7630
Stefanie Savariaud, WFP/Niger, Tel. +227 722320. Mob +227 403947
Simon Pluess, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob. +41-797743821
Trevor Rowe, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-212-9635196, Mob. +1-6468241112,
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44-20-75929292, Mob +44-7968-008474

For videos, please contact:

Jonathan Dumont, WFP Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3152/2899, Mob. +39 340-2249140
Casey Kauffman, WFP Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 3563/2899, Mob. +39 340-8663322