Hunger in the news
17 March 2009
The United Nations emergency air service, used to move food, medical assistance and aid workers to remote and dangerous locations, will have to shut its West Africa operation due to a lack of funds, the organisation announced on Tuesday. The air service, run by the World Food Programme, is used to get aid and staff to areas that cannot be reached by land, whether owing to security concerns, lack of infrastructure or rough terrain. [...] Donors, said UN officials, sometimes neglected certain countries in favour of others which are in the headlines and have more political significance. The air programme, dependant on donor contributions, was "running on fumes", Emilia Casella, a WFP spokeswoman told reporters in Geneva. In 2008, when the air service lacked about 30 million dollars in funding, the programme carried more than 360,000 humanitarian passengers and 15,000 metric tons of cargo in 16 countries, using 58 chartered aircraft, the UN said.
Earth Times / Deutsche Presse Agentur