UN World Food Programme opens logistics hub in Ghana

5 December 2006

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today opened a major logistics hub in Ghana as it expands its network of depots to ensure that it can respond rapidly to simultaneous humanitarian emergencies around the world.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today opened a major logistics hub in Ghana as it expands its network of depots to ensure that it can respond rapidly to simultaneous humanitarian emergencies around the world.

The new hub, located within the grounds of the international airport in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, will stock supplies such as high-energy biscuits, drinking water, drugs, medical equipment, sanitation and hygiene systems, and radio and telecommunications equipment.

Accra is the third such hub, known as a UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), and follows the existing bases in Brindisi, Italy, and Dubai. Next year depots are slated to open in Panama and at Malaysia’s Subang military airport.

Once the network of depots is fully in place, WFP expects to be capable of delivering emergency supplies within 48 hours to four major crises anywhere in the world at the same time.

At today’s signing ceremony, WFP West Africa Regional Director Mustapha Darboe thanked the Ghanaian Government for its help in setting up the UNHRD at Accra.

“This will be the main humanitarian hub for West Africa and will increase our capacity – as well as that of our partners – to respond to urgent needs in the region,” Mr. Darboe said. “Proximity to affected people means that we can radically reduce our response time and save more lives.”

Until the construction of the Accra hub is finished, WFP’s corporate partner, TNT, has offered the use of its facilities at the airport to stock supplies. Irish Aid has donated up to $500,000 each year to cover the annual running costs of the base.

Meanwhile, the heads of the WFP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) made a joint visit to Ghana’s north this week to review their agencies’ recent joint initiatives there and to spotlight cooperation at field level.

 

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