UN food deliveries to Afghanistan reach record levels

26 December 2001

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that it has sent a record 80,000 tonnes of food into Afghanistan so far this month.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today announced that it has sent a record 80,000 tonnes of food into Afghanistan so far this month.

"80,000 tonnes - or nearly 4,000 tonnes a day - is an unprecedented level for Afghanistan," agency spokesperson Jordan Dey told reporters in Islamabad. He noted that the aid was sent via 200 to 300 trucks travelling daily across the borders from Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan.

Describing the challenges facing the delivery effort for the war-ravaged country, he said, "some of our contracted trucks carry a five-tonne payload where the roads are narrow, treacherous and icy, while other trucks can carry a 40-tonne payload over relatively good roads."

Despite these positive developments, insecurity is preventing the agency from getting supplies into Kandahar, where some 238,000 people may be vulnerable. "The WFP warehouse and offices [there] were looted and destroyed, so we are currently looking for suitable warehouse in the area," said Dey, adding, "Staff, food and trucks are ready to move into Kandahar as soon as the security situation allows."

Meanwhile in Kabul, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, continued holding consultations with the country's new leadership. On Tuesday, he held talks with the head of the Interim Authority, Hamid Karzai, as well as Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. Today, Mr. Brahimi was scheduled to meet with a group of Afghan intellectuals.

 

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