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Georgia: UN To Assist Flood-Ravaged Svaneti Region

Georgia: UN Launches Emergency Operation To Feed Flood-Ravaged Svaneti Region

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is rushing aid to the impoverished Svaneti region of northwest Georgia where floods have destroyed over 70 per cent of crucial crops such as potatoes and hay, washed away pasture land and domestic animals, and damaged homes, some beyond repair.

“Access to the villages is particularly difficult due to the severely destroyed infrastructure," WFP country director Pippa Bradford said. "Roads have been washed away and most people are currently without electricity."

The two-month emergency operation, which began last week, will bring in 44.7 tons of food, mainly wheat flour, to the hardest hit areas in three remote villages – Mulakhi, Tzvirmi and Ipari. Funding for the assistance has been received from WFP donor countries.

"The damage is extensive but WFP is committed to carry out relief that will ensure a complete recovery," Ms. Bradford said. Limited agricultural land and inadequate infrastructure has made Svaneti one of the poorest areas in Georgia.

WFP has been working in Georgia since 1993 and its most recent general operation, launched in July 2003, will assist over 200,000 people and last until June 2006.

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