The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed France’s offer to airlift life-saving humanitarian assistance to a growing number of Sudanese refugees and displaced Chadians living in an increasingly precarious situation. The airlift operation will be launched tomorrow from the capital N’djamena to eastern Chad.
“With the onset of the rainy season, thousands of refugees and internally displaced people will face even greater hardship. WFP is extremely grateful to the Government of France for their humanitarian airbridge to ferry relief supplies on behalf of WFP and other agencies,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.
“This airlift will help avoid any critical gaps in our operation to feed thousands of people. France is a crucial partner for WFP in Chad, and across the world,” said Sheeran. WFP had needed to pre-position a six-month supply of food to feed 240,000 Sudanese refugees in 12 camps and 150,000 internally displaced people in the East through the rainy season from June to November. So far, WFP has managed to build four months of food stocks at the camps for refugees and Chadian displaced, in the eastern areas that will be hardest hit by the rains.
WFP thanked the French government and particularly Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner for their support to end the suffering of Sudanese refugees and displaced Chadians. France is a strong supporter of WFP, contributing a total of some 20 million Euros to its operations across the world in 2006.