Fighting in Dafur, Western Sudan, over the last year has pitted government forces against the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. Adding to the danger are ethnic/tribal clashes. The result is an estimated 600,000 refugees fleeing Sudan across the border into Chad.
Chad has had help coping with the influx of refugees from the United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) (www.wfp.org), the world's largest humanitarian aid agency, and its first-ever privately funded and operated airlift, TNT Post Group Airways (TPG) (www.tpg.com). The carrier provided an Airbus A300 jet to fly from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, to N'djamena, Chad, carrying 33 metric tons of supplies.
UNWFP faces numerous logistics hurdles and high costs in setting up an emergency operation in Chad, says James Morris, executive director of UNWFP. The lack of existing infrastructure, poor or virtually non- existent supply routes, rising fuel prices and fuel supply problems are just some of the issues the group faces in moving aid to the areas where it is most needed.
The shipment handled by TPG included two Toyota Land Cruisers, four mobile storage tents and other office and warehouse equipment. The supplies were quickly transported to the UNWFP's main logistics base in Abeche, Sudan, in close proximity to some 50,000 refugees UNWFP has been feeding since September.
In December 2002, TPG committed itself to partnering with UNWFP for at least five years in its fight against world hunger. It is the biggest corporate sponsor of UNWFP. “International aid agencies, both large and small, share the goal of maximizing the assistance they are able to provide their beneficiaries, and TPG is helping UNWFP revolutionize the way we reach that goal,” says Morris. LT