Sudan

WFP resumes food airdrops to southern Sudan

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For the first time in ten months, the World Food Programme has resumed C-130 airlift/airdrop deliveries of relief food rations to thousands of hungry people in southern Sudan. The operation follows the announcement last week of agreement by the Government of Sudan to allow WFP renewed use of C-130 aircraft for relief deliveries into southern Sudan.
The rapidity of the resumption was made possible by the fortunate availability of a C-130 for contract, as well as energetic efforts by WFP personnel to prepare airdrop sites and load relief supplies.

In two rotations, WFP today delivered 32 metric tons of food to 30,000 people in the area of Akobo,

Upper Nile province as well as to the town of Panthou in the hard-hit Bahr El Ghazal area. An estimated 500,000 people in Bar El Ghazal are described as seriously hungry.

Use of the C-130 will enable WFP to more than double the amount of food aid currently supplied by smaller aircraft to southern Sudan. Relief food deliveries to southern Sudan during May and June covered only one-fifth of the assessed need.

Large quantities of relief food are urgently needed in southern Sudan as June, July and August mark the "hunger gap" period when local food stocks are at their lowest and farmers await the harvest. Heavy rains make dirt airstrips unsuitable for landing and overland transport is rendered virtually impossible. Airdrops are often the only means available to WFP to deliver food to thousands of people.

The World Food Programme is the lead United Nations agency in the fight against global hunger. It helps to feed over 50 million people including half of the world's refugees and internally displaced.

For further information, contact:

Brenda Barton (Regional Information Officer)
WFP Nairobi
254-2-230807 (Office); 254-2-732392 (Home)

Trevor Rowe/(Chief Spokesman)
WFP Rome
(39-6) 5228-2602

=A9: 1996, World Food Programme. All rights reserved.