Attacks halt UN food agency’s deliveries in north-western Afghanistan

WFP distributes food to an average 3.7 million Afghan people yearly, primarily in remote, rural areas

2 February 2010 – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has temporarily suspended deliveries in part of a province in north-western Afghanistan after a convoy was attacked over the weekend, resulting in the loss of over 100 metric tons of food aid.

A 19-truck convoy was stopped for the night in the Sang Atash area of Badghis province on 30 January when it was attacked.

Seven vehicles and the food supplies they were carrying were destroyed, while two other vehicles were damaged, although some of the food they were transporting was salvaged.

Challiss McDonough, WFP public information officer for Afghanistan, said that one truck driver is being treated for injuries, while one driver and his truck are currently unaccounted for.

The agency, she said, has temporarily halted food deliveries to the area while the security situation is being evaluated.

“WFP calls on all parties in Afghanistan to allow safe passage of vital food assistance intended to support the neediest Afghans,” Ms. McDonough said.

The agency has been working continuously in the country since 1963 and is active in all 34 of its provinces. It has identified insecurity, drought, floods and low education levels as being among the factors exacerbating food insecurity in Afghanistan.

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