WFP assistance heading for flood-ravaged Tabasco
8 Novembre 2007
PANAMA – A United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) truck convoy carrying enough ready-to-eat meals to feed 70,000 people over five days is on its way from WFP’s emergency hub in El
Salvador to the Mexican state of Tabasco, which has been devastated by massive floods.
“We are moving as swiftly as possible to bring critical help to the people of Tabasco, who are suffering the worst crisis in their recent history,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran
from Lisbon, where she is attending the European Development Days – a European Union-hosted forum on climate change.
She added that in addition to the emergency food supplies, WFP has deployed a team specializing in logistics and emergency assessment. WFP will be working closely with the United Nations
Resident Coordinator and other UN agencies to support the Government of Mexico following the catastrophic emergency which has affected up to one million people.
“Just as Mexico has consistently shown its generosity over the years to other countries in their hours of need, so too must we in the international community show our solidarity with the people
of Tabasco,” Sheeran said.
The emergency food aid is in the form of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) which require no cooking. The shipment is part of a US$500,000 Immediate Response operation approved Monday. It was
dispatched from WFP’s emergency hub in El Salvador yesterday and is making its way overland with arrival in Tabasco expected late Friday or early Saturday.
Meanwhile, in the Dominican Republic, urgent distribution of WFP High Energy Biscuits continued by helicopter to some of the over 130 isolated communities affected by the heavy rains and floods
left in the wake of Tropical Storm Noel, which cut a swathe across the Caribbean early last week. The helicopters were provided by the US Coast Guard and the Office of US Foreign Disaster
Drawing from emergency funds, WFP last week started airlifting food assistance and more is making its way by sea from a WFP emergency regional logistics hub in Barbados and is due to arrive
later this week. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched a joint appeal for US$14 million to help those affected by the floods in the Dominican Republic over
the next six months, of which US$4 million is for food assistance through WFP.
In Haiti, where Tropical Storm Noel also caused extensive damage, WFP is providing food to shelters and continuing its assessment of needs and food distributions where access is possible. So
far, WFP emergency teams have been able to assist 19,000 of the worst affected.
Initial assessments indicate severe damage to plantations and farms in the south of the country which has raised concern over the future food security of people in that region.