Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Somali Famine Prompts Action From Freight and Logistics Groups

Luxembourg Companies Unite to Help the Starving
Shipping News Feature

LUXEMBOURG - Recognizing the need for quick and efficient help for the famine and drought victims in the Horn of Africa, a group of Luxembourg-based companies including airfreight and logistics groups Cargolux, LuxairCARGO, CFL plus the ArcelorMittal Foundation, Enovos, Paul Wurth and SES have teamed up to respond to an aid appeal by the Luxembourg Committee for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s fund.

Together, they have decided to offer assistance to ongoing relief efforts by funding the transport costs by air of 105 tonnes of life-saving nutritional supplies for the famine-ravaged Horn of Africa region. The food products are largely composed of Corn Soya Blend (CSB) - a mix of partially precooked and milled cereals, soya, beans and pulses fortified with vitamins and minerals - that will be cooked with water as porridge. Enough to feed approximately 6,500 acutely malnourished children in South Somalia for a month, the 105 tonnes of special nutritional foods and three refrigerators used for vaccines are being shipped by truck to Luxembourg from a UNICEF warehouse in Belgium.

Upon arrival at the CargoCenter of Findel airport, the aid shipment will be palletized and handled free of charge by LuxairCARGO. The shipment will be flown by Cargolux from Luxembourg to Nairobi, Africa, on board of a 747-400 freighter. The aircraft will take off from Luxembourg Airport on Friday, the 12th August just after midday. 

UNICEF needs to bring several hundred tonnes of food supplies to its regional hub in Nairobi each week as quickly as possible to cope with the humanitarian crisis that is about to spread to Uganda after hitting Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Shipping life-saving nutritional supplies by air is a costly operation with transport costs largely exceeding the value of the shipment.

As part of their social responsibility policy, the involved companies say they are pleased to contribute to disaster relief efforts by offering immediate and urgent help to communities hit by emergencies. We often cover the travails of vessels carrying aid through the pirate infested waters of the Gulf of Aden to assist the Somali people but the situation is now so grave to warrant mercy flights such as these.