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WFP ship delivers vital humanitarian assistance at frontline of Libya conflict

ROME/NEW YORK, 7 April 2011 - A World Food Programme (WFP) cargo ship carrying food, medical supplies, doctors and other relief items has docked in Misrata, opening up a new humanitarian lifeline to civilians trapped in the Libyan conflict.

“This is a breakthrough for the UN humanitarian operation in Libya and allows us to reach tens of thousands of people who are caught in one of the fiercest areas of conflict,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.  “It is vital that we get these relief supplies to the vulnerable – especially women and children – and we are working with local partners, including the Libyan Red Crescent, to ensure their needs are met.”

The WFP chartered vessel, Marianne Danica, docked in Misrata this afternoon carrying more than 600 metric tons of food including wheat flour, vegetable oil and High Energy Biscuits – enough to feed more than 40,000 people for a month.

The ship is also delivering medical supplies on behalf of UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.  These UNICEF and WHO emergency health kits and surgical material will cover the urgent needs for 50,000 people for a month, along with materials to enable thousands of children to play in the relative safety of indoors. Two doctors are on board and will disembark at Misrata.  Once offloaded, the cargo will be delivered to the main hospital in Misrata.

“The situation is urgent for tens of thousands of children in Misrata and across Libya, who are potential victims of the fighting or who have already paid a terrible price,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “These supplies are a lifeline to them and all those trapped in the fighting.”

WFP began moving food supplies into Libya soon after the conflict erupted and has pre-positioned 16,500 metric tons of food stocks inside the country as part of a US$42 million emergency operation that will provide food assistance to more than 1 million people in Libya and neighbouring countries.  Working with partners like the Libyan Red Crescent, WFP plans to provide food to more than 600,000 people inside Libya over the next three months.

“The operation in Libya is complex and dangerous, but we are exploring every possible avenue to get food to the hungry,” Sheeran added.  “This means moving food assistance and other relief supplies by road from Egypt, and by sea into the main ports along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline.”

As the lead logistics and telecommunications agency in the UN humanitarian system, WFP is providing transport and communications support for the entire humanitarian community in Libya.

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About WFP
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.
Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than
70 countries.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

For more information, please contact:
Gregory Barrow, WFP/Rome,
Tel. +39 06 6513 2330, Mob. +39 348 1325018
Gregory.Barrow@wfp.org

Caroline Hurford, WFP/London,
Tel. +44-20-72409001, Mob. +44-7968-008474
Caroline.Hurford@wfp.org

Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva,
Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob. +41-792857304
Emilia.Casella@wfp.org

Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York,
Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646-8241112
Bettina.Luescher@wfp.org

Rene McGuffin, WFP/ Washington DC,
Tel. +1- 202-6531149, Mob. +1- 202-3902579
Rene.McGuffin@wfp.org

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7426,
pmccormick@unicef.org

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva,
Tel + 41 79 756 7703,
mmercado@unicef.org

James Elder, UNICEF, Cairo
Tel + 201 825 92591 / 393 3575 82585
jelder@unicef.org


 

 

 

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