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WFP in El Salvador airlifts food to victims of Hurricane Gustav in Cuba

WFP has sent a first airlift of humanitarian food aid to Cuba from the Regional Humanitarian Response Centre, based in the International Airport of El Salvador.

WFP sent 45 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEB) to Cuba at the weekend to respond to the immediate needs of some 80,000 people affected by Hurricane Gustav.

The airlift of humanitarian food aid, bound in particular for the badly hit areas of the Isla de la Juventud, came from the Regional Humanitarian Response Centre based in the International Airport of El Salvador.

The HEB distribution is part of an emergency operation led by WFP to cover the immediate nutritional needs of the most affected population, especially children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and the elderly. Other complementary feeding will be integrated to WFP’s food distributions.

While supporting Cuba, WFP is also responding to the massive crisis affecting Haiti, which has been battered by three deadly storms- Fay, Gustav and Hanna- in less than a month.

Dealing with extremely unfavourable weather conditions and blocked roads, WFP is presently using helicopters and boats to reach the thousands of people affected by flooding in the hard hit Gonaives.

WFP is coordinating all the humanitarian community logistic and estimates that, in the next two months, around 800,000 persons will require assistance. It continues to assist families displaced by Hurricane Gustav in Southern and Western Cuba.

Over the past 14 months, WFP’s Regional Emergency Response Centre provided assistance to thousands affected by disasters in Belize (Hurricane Dean); Nicaragua (Hurricane Félix); Mexico (Tabasco floods); Peru (the 2007 earthquake) and El Salvador.