WFP has launched its first emergency airlift from a new logistics hub in the Ghanaian capital, sending urgently needed relief supplies – 26 tons of High Energy Biscuits and three mobile storage tents – to N’Djamena in Chad.
This first airlift from Accra to N’Djamena shows that Ghana is strategically well placed for a UNHRD with a positive impact on the West Africa region
Amer Daoudi, Associate Director of the Operations and Transport Division at WFP HQ
The emergency supplies are being taken overland to Abeche, Eastern Chad, where WFP is providing support to over 220,000 refugees from Sudan’s neighbouring Darfur region as well as some 57,000 Chadians who have been displaced by conflict in the border area.
The UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) opened in Accra on 5 December 2006, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between WFP and the Government of Ghana.
It is one of a network of five planned hubs around the world – Brindisi (Italy) and Dubai have already opened; depots in Panama and at the Subang Military Airport in Malaysia will be inaugurated in early 2007.
The network is designed to enable WFP to respond to four major crises anywhere in the world at any one time, delivering emergency relief supplies within 48 hours of needs being declared.
“This first airlift from Accra to N’Djamena shows that Ghana is strategically well placed for a UNHRD with a positive impact on the West Africa region and an opportunity of drastically reducing both costs and response time in an emergency,” said Amer Daoudi, Associate Director of the Operations and Transport Division at WFP Headquarters in Rome.
The depot, conveniently sited within the perimeter of Accra’s Kotoka International Airport, stocks vital stand-by supplies such as high-energy biscuits and rapid response equipment.
In future, the UNHRD will store drugs and medical equipment, sanitation and hygiene systems, radio and telecommunications equipment as well as drinking water.
The immediate costs of the Accra hub are covered by a donation of some US$500,000 per annum from Irish Aid.