The first plane carrying food supplies has left Quito for Concepcion, near the epicentre of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Another airlift is scheduled for Sunday.
The two airlifts – closely coordinated with the Government of Chile — will bring a total of 70 metric tons of high energy biscuits which can feed up to 35,000 children for five days.
“We are saddened by the loss of life and destruction caused by this devastating earthquake”, said WFP’s Regional Director Pedro Medrano. “We are working closely with the Chilean authorities to deliver these ready-to-eat foods to those vulnerable children who lost their homes and cannot feed themselves in the disaster area, with the help of the National Board of Student Aid and Scholarships (JUNAEB).”
High energy biscuits are an ideal form of food assistance in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster such as the earthquake in Chile as they can be eaten immediately by people who have lost access to kitchens or other cooking facilities in areas affected by the quake.
The biscuits, which will be used primarily to help meet the immediate nutritional needs of children in the quake zones, are also fortified with vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.
WFP has prepositioned high energy biscuits in its emergency response depots in Ecuador and El Salvador to respond to emergencies in the region.