Fleet of food shipments converge on Iraq

29 April 2003
A fleet of ships loaded with food is converging on the Middle East in an effort to ensure that food rations for May can be distributed to the Iraqi people, UN aid agencies said at their daily briefing in Amman on 28 April. The World Food Programme (WFP) spokesman said that tens of thousands of tonnes of food were on their way to Iraq and that staff inside the country were working to assess the condition of storage facilities. 'The WFP logistical machine continues to build up steam as we race to ensure that 27 million Iraqis can again head to the food agents in their neighbourhoods and receive their monthly rations in May,' said Khaled Mansour. In Turkey, 28,500 tonnes of wheat donated by the US is being unloaded ready to head for Iraq, while a further 37,000 tonnes coming from Russia under an oil-for-food programme contract is to begin unloading at the Turkish port of Toros on 29 April. Two further oil-for-food shipments have arrived at Aqaba in Jordan - 50,000 tonnes of wheat from Australia and 32,500 tonnes of foodstuffs from Thailand.

At the same briefing, the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq spokeswoman, Veronique Taveau, said that water supply in Baghdad was gradually improving, but that there was a shortage of chemicals for water treatment. In Basra water supply is still a problem in many areas, she said.

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