WFP Flies in Aid, Builds Humanitarian Hub in Southern Kyrgyzstan

Published on 21 June 2010

BISHKEK - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is accelerating the delivery of food assistance to Kyrgyzstan with the arrival of a plane-load of aid in the city of Osh today.

The emergency cargo includes food rations for 30,000 people who have been affected by the recent violence as well as telecommunications equipment to support the humanitarian response to the crisis.  At the same time, WFP is opening a humanitarian hub in Osh to act as a staging post, receiving assistance for the whole humanitarian community.

•    A WFP cargo flight from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Dubai, loaded with 20 metric tons of high-energy fortified biscuits, an armoured car, body armour and emergency telecoms equipment landed in Osh, southern Kyrgyzstan, today.

•    High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) are vital in the first stages of relief operations when people are without cooking facilities and transport is difficult. Twenty metric tons is enough to provide a daily ration for more than 30,000 people.

•    The plane is carrying pre-fabricated office equipment to set up a humanitarian hub at Osh airport.

•    Two more WFP flights are planned to arrive in Osh from Dubai June 22 and 23 carrying food and other relief items.

•    Since the outbreak of violence, WFP has provided an estimated 54,000 people in Osh and Jalal-Abad with food assistance.

•    WFP is transporting food aid from its warehouses in neighbouring Tajikistan and Afghanistan, including wheat flour, lentils, oil and salt to Uzbekistan, where an estimated 100,000 people have taken refuge.

•    A planeload of WFP assistance, including 40 metric tons of high energy biscuits arrived in Andizhan, Uzbekistan over the weekend – enough to provide a daily ration for 75,000 people.

•    A second flight for Andizhan is planned for Wednesday (June 23) from Geneva for OCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and Irish Aid, which will also carry 10 metric tons of food (HEBs) from WFP’s Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, southern Italy.

•    WFP has appealed for US$19 million to provide emergency food rations to more than half a million people in Kyrgyzstan, plus US$1.6 million for logistics and emergency telecommunications services. The appeal forms part of a joint UN flash appeal announced Friday.


For Further Information:
Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob.  +41-792857304
Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob.  +1-202-4223383
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646-8241112