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Ability To Get Food To Tsunami-Ravaged Indonesia

UN Boosts Logistical Ability To Deliver Food In Tsunami-Ravaged Indonesia

With nearly 500,000 people already having received a one-month supply of food in Indonesia’s tsunami-ravaged Aceh region, the United Nations World Food Programme (<"http://www.wfp.org">WFP) is rapidly increasing its logistical capacity, with seven to 10 helicopters now at its disposal and reinforcement by sea starting up today.

The agency plans to have a second one-month supply of food distributed by the end of February in the region that suffered most from the 26 December disaster.

The new sea operation involves a vessel capable of carrying 3,000 tons of food and a landing craft off the Aceh coast of Meulaboh today began ferrying food from a floating warehouse to storage space on land, to pre-position supplies there.

Indonesia’s Aceh and Sumatra provinces accounted for over two-thirds of the more than 200,000 people killed by the tsunami, which also injured more than half a million others and left up to 5 million in need of basic services in the dozen Indian Ocean countries it struck.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (<"http://www.unhcr.ch/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home">UNHCR) has delivered emergency assistance to 40,000 people in the area.

The UN, which is coordinating international relief operations, has opened an office in Aceh’s capital, Banda Aceh, and today held its first joint new briefing there.

“While emergency relief efforts continue, we are now beginning to address how best we can move from emergency relief to early recovery,” spokesman Hiro Ueki said. “A gradual shift in our approach will help realign the activities of the UN and other key actors towards recovery and help the Government of Indonesia address a range of recovery options.”

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