For more than 50 years, the World Food Programme (WFP) has been getting food to wherever it is needed in the world, saving the lives of those affected by war, civil conflict and natural disasters. Last month, the program received a boost when Lynden Air Cargo took on a three-month assignment to provide air lift of food and supplies from Assosa, Ethiopia, to Doro, South Sudan, with the potential of several other locations within Africa. Nearly 150,000 South Sudanese have sought asylum in western Ethiopia since conflict erupted in their homeland in late 2013.
“We expect between three to four flights a day, six days a week,” explains Jim Davis, Lynden Air Cargo Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “Our task is to make deliveries to ensure the South Sudanese refugees receive the food they desperately need. I would like to give credit to the Lynden employees who volunteered to do this work. This is one of the most remote places in the world and very poor living conditions. We have an amazing group of people. It is always inspiring to me how everyone rises to the challenges we face.”
The WFP is the food assistance branch of the United Nations and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger. On average, the WFP provides food to 100 million people per year in 77 of the poorest countries. This year, WFP Ethiopia plans to assist nearly 6.5 million vulnerable people with food and assistance, including school children, farmers and refugees. Up to to 350,000 refugees are expected in Gambela, Ethiopia, by the end of the year.
“We are looking forward to the challenge as this is a new market for us in a new part of the world. We have put together a great team and are excited to get started,” Jim says.