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WFP Bangkok relief air bridge for Myanmar completes mission

The last WFP aid flight has taken off from Thailand’s Don Mueang International Airport which has been a vital staging post for the airlift of humanitarian supplies to areas affected by the impact of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

For WFP and the wider UN and NGO community, the air hub was critical for the provision of vital relief supplies to the people of Myanmar.
Tony Banbury, Asia Regional Director for WFP
In the three months since the opening of the Don Mueang humanitarian air bridge on 24 May, 232 relief flights were dispatched to Cyclone-hit Myanmar. As the lead agency responsible for logistics in humanitarian emergencies WFP played a central role in the supply of food assistance, relief supplies and the transportation of aid workers to the disaster areas in Myanmar.

Support of the Royal Thai Government

“The establishment of the air hub at Don Mueang was only possible thanks to the support of the Royal Thai Government,” said Tony Banbury, Asia Regional Director for WFP. “And for WFP and the wider UN and NGO community, the air hub was critical for the provision of vital relief supplies to the people of Myanmar.”

Destruction by Cyclone Nargis

The destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis on 2 May affected more than 2.4 million people living in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta. In addition to daily flights by WFP-chartered cargo aircraft, a 20,000 square meter warehouse at Don Mueang, allowed for cargo to be forwarded to Myanmar for the overall relief effort.

Nearly four million kilograms of cargo were delivered through the Don Mueang air hub to Myanmar -- including shelter material, medical supplies, mosquito nets and water purification equipment.

International relief efforts ongoing

The international effort to assist survivors continues, providing food, medical supplies and relief equipment to the affected Delta areas. WFP alone has delivered almost 28,000 tons of food assistance, reaching more than 700,000 people in the affected areas.

Ten chartered WFP helicopters were also staged through the Bangkok air bridge, arriving in Yangon in early June where they flew relief supplies into the heart of the disaster zone, delivering life-saving equipment to remote villages in the delta area.

Two helicopters remain in operation.