TPG assists WFP airlift of emergency food to Sudanese refugees in Chad

Published on 16 September 2004

Rome With its third assisted flight in support of the Darfur crisis, the global mail, express and logistics company TPG N.V. is financing the transport by WFP of high-energy biscuits to Chad. This generous donation by WFP\'s first and largest corporate partner will help address the malnutrition levels among thousands of people sheltering in refugee camps across the border from conflict-ridden Western Sudan.

BRINDISI - With its third assisted flight in support of the Darfur crisis, the global mail, express and logistics company TPG N.V. has financed the transport by the United Nations World Food Programme of high-energy biscuits to Chad today. This generous donation by WFP's first and largest corporate partner will help address the malnutrition levels among thousands of people sheltering in refugee camps across the border from conflict-ridden Western Sudan.

The 50 metric tonnes of high-energy biscuits will feed more than 7,000 children for one month in camps where July and August assessments show a worrying tide of malnutrition. WFP is already implementing a blanket supplementary feeding programme for some 55,000 children under the age of five and for pregnant and nursing women.

"For many children, these nutritious biscuits could well mean the difference between life and death," said Philippe Guyon Le Bouffy, WFP's Country Director in Chad. "These crucial supplies come just as we are battling time, the rains and poor roads to reach people who are in desperate need of help."

TPG is financing an Ilyushin-76 aircraft to fly from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, Italy, to N'djaména, the capital of Chad, carrying 50 tonnes of high- energy, vitamin and mineral fortified biscuits.

"WFP greatly appreciates TPG's assistance in responding to the humanitarian crisis in the region," said Le Bouffy. "With malnutrition setting in among the refugees, we need all the emergency food we can get into the region if we are to stave off starvation, especially among the very young," he added.

The rains turn many of Chad's roads into temporary torrents, blocking the transport of food for hours or even days at a time. After being blocked for two weeks, WFP food trucks were finally able to access camps in the central zone, thanks to a break in the rains. High energy biscuits are easy to distribute and require no cooking preparation.

During August, WFP Chad distributed food rations to more than 170,000 people including some 12,000 members of the host community. Across the border in Darfur, the agency provided nearly one million people with food assistance last month, and aims to double that figure by October. Limited access and insecurity have been major obstacles to providing humanitarian aid to those displaced by the on-going conflict between the Sudanese Government and rebel forces over the last 17 months.

This is the third airlift supported by TPG to the region. In December 2003, TPG/TNT Airways transported WFP humanitarian supplies from UNHRD to Eastern Chad and again in June, when a consignment of biscuits were transported to Khartoum for Darfur. The Netherlands-based company has also provided air transport for humanitarian goods destined for Iran, Liberia and Haiti.

In December 2002, Mail, Express and Logistics company TPG N.V. committed itself to partnering with WFP in its fight against world hunger for at least five years. As the biggest corporate sponsor of WFP, the world's largest humanitarian aid agency, TPG is - upon request making available its highly qualified staff, skills, systems and assets. With similar expertise in both transportation and logistics, WFP and TPG share the common values of speed, reliability and efficiency, as well as a ‘results-based' culture.

UNHRD is the rapid response base of the United Nations, able to send emergency relief items anywhere in the world within 24/48 hrs. Managed by WFP, UNHRD is based in Brindisi.

For further info on UNHRD: www.unhrd.org or contact Marta Laurienzo, liaison officer 0831 506680.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: in 2003 we gave food aid to a record 104 million people in 81 countries, including 56 million hungry children.

WFP Global School Feeding Campaign For just 19 US cents a day, you can help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school -- a gift of hope for a brighter future.

TPG N.V., with its two brands TNT and Royal TPG Post, is a global provider of mail, express and logistics services. The group employs over 162,000 people in 64 countries and serves over 200 countries. For 2003 the company reported sales of € 11.9 billion. TPG N.V. is publicly listed on the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, New York, London and Frankfurt. TPG is also the largest corporate sponsor of WFP.

(email: firstname.lastname@wfp.org)

Brenda Barton
Deputy Director Communications

WFP/Rome

Tel. +39-06-65132602

Mob. +39-3472582217

Christiane Berthiaume
WFP/Geneva

Tel. +41-22-9178564

Mob. +41-79-2857304

Trevor Rowe
WFP/NY

Tel. +1-212-9635196

Mob. +1-646-8241112

e-mail: rowe@un.org

Jordan Dey
WFP/Washington

Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149

Mob. +1-202-4223383

Daphne Andriesse
Senior Press Officer

TPG Media Relations

Tel: + 31 20 500 6224

Mob.: + 31 610918790

e-mail: Daphne.Andriesse@tpg.com