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PIA Press Release

200 metric tons of high-energy biscuits airlifted to RP flood victims

Pasay City, October 19 (19 October) -- In a continuing cooperative effort to combat global hunger, TNT and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have joined forces to mount the largest airlift of food relief yet to the Philippines, flying in a total of 200 metric tons of high-energy biscuits for the victims of the recent floods in the country.

The shipment, another endeavour in the "Moving the World" partnership between TNT and WFP, will take place in two stagesa 100 metric ton shipment that arrives today and a second 100 metric tons arriving on 24 October.

The food assistance will be loaded from Izmir, Turkey, and will be flown to the Philippines onboard TNTs Boeing 747-400 Extended Range Freighter. The freighter was diverted from its regular return flight from Liege in Belgium to Hong Kong to perform the humanitarian mission.

Most of the 200 tons of biscuits, which have been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, will be used in supplementary feeding programmes to enhance the nutritional health of pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under five years old. In cooperation with the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development, WFP will target the biscuits to areas worst hit by flooding.

"Tens of thousands of young mothers and children are going to benefit as a result of this generous gesture on the part of TNT," said Stephen Anderson, WFP Country Director in the Philippines. "We owe TNT an enormous debt of gratitude for providing this service, which will save us close to $750,000 in shipping costs. And we are also extremely grateful to the Government of Australia, who provided WFP with US$1.75 million in cash, part of which has been used to purchase the biscuits."

Right after super typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (international names Ketsana and Parma, respectively) devastated parts of the country causing massive loss of lives, properties, crops and livelihoods, WFP immediately initiated relief activities for the victims in support of the Government of the Philippines response. Working closely with the WFP, TNT processed incoming shipments at the airport last October 2 and utilized seven trucks to transport 40 tons of food aid to the affected areas. To date, TNT is on stand-by to transport more relief materials as determined by the WFP.

In addition to this, TNT coordinated with WFP in bringing in more food aid to the Philippines. Cetin Yalcin said that, "(The) new shipment was coordinated in a relatively short period. We obtained approval from our head offices Tuesday morning and in a couple of days, the supplier started production and were flying our B747. It was fast." Yalcin is the country general manager of TNT.

While the shipment will prioritize the victims of the recent calamities in the Philippines, Yalcin says that TNT and WFPs humanitarian assistance does not stop there. The two partners are present and active around the globe.

In the past few months, TNT and WFP also granted relief efforts to the victims of various catastrophes in Asia. The two organizations provided 50 tons of high energy biscuits to Indonesia for the affected families by the earthquake that struck the coast of Padang. In India, monetary donations for relief materials were allocated for those affected by the heavy rains that caused flash floods throughout Kartnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

The partnership between TNT and WFP started in 2002 and so far, the logistics firm has contributed around US$50 million worth of support to WFPs efforts worldwide. (WFP/PIA9-BST) [top]

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