Two cargo aircraft chartered by WFP set off this morning for Tbilisi, Georgia, with 34 metric tons of high energy biscuits to assist thousands of people in Georgia displaced by the recent conflict.
Two Antonov 12 aircraft departed in succession from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, Italy. The biscuits will augment in-country food stocks which WFP started distributing over the weekend to thousands of people.
Many of the displaced have no access to cooking facilities; High Energy Biscuits (HEB) require no preparation.
The number of people in need of food assistance continues to escalateLola Castro, WFP Country Director in Georgia
WFP will distribute 2,300 rations today, with more planned for the following days using the supplies in arrival. WFP has been providing 10-day food rations to more than 4,500 displaced people living in shelters in the capital, Tbilisi.
“The number of people in need of food assistance continues to escalate,” said WFP Georgia Country Director Lola Castro, adding that more than 10,000 people were now registered as displaced.
Internally displaced people
WFP has identified bakeries near areas where internally displaced people have concentrated, and the agency will supply wheat flour to make bread for distribution to the hungry displaced.
WFP is playing a leading role in coordinating food assistance and offering logistical support to other humanitarian organisations, drawing on capacity from its existing operation in the country. Before the crisis erupted, WFP was providing food to more than 212,000 people, mainly poor rural communities, as well as primary schoolchildren, tuberculosis patients and people living with HIV/AIDS.
WFP has been active in Georgia since 1993.