Press Release


TPG Assists WFP with emergency airlift of relief supplies to Chad

Publish Date : 8 December 2003 at 14:00 CET - Monday, 8 December 2003, Rome – In the first privately funded and operated airlift in the history of the United Nations World Food Programme, TPG/TNT Airways this weekend transported urgently needed WFP humanitarian supplies destined for Eastern Chad where thousands of Sudanese refugees are sheltering.

Rome - In the first privately funded and operated airlift in the history of the United Nations World Food Programme, TPG/TNT Airways this weekend transported urgently needed WFP humanitarian supplies destined for Eastern Chad where thousands of Sudanese refugees are sheltering.

TNT Airways made available one of its largest aircraft - an Airbus A300 - to fly from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, to N'djamena, the capital of Chad, carrying a total of 33 metric tons of urgently-needed goods.

The shipment of two Toyota Land Cruisers, 4 mobile storage tents, as well as other office and warehouse equipment, will kick-start WFP's emergency response in Chad which is coping with an increasing influx of refugees from neighbouring Sudan. The supplies will quickly be transported to WFP's main logistics base in Abeche, in the eastern part of the country, which is in close proximity to some 50,000 refugees WFP has been feeding since September.

In setting up an emergency operation in Chad, WFP faces numerous hurdles and high costs due to the lack of existing infrastructure, poor or virtually non-existent supply routes, rising fuel prices and fuel supply problems.

"WFP greatly appreciates the assistance TPG - our first long-term corporate partner -- is giving us in bolstering our operations in Chad," said WFP's Executive Director James T. Morris. "By using their expertise and providing this critical humanitarian airlift, TPG/TNT Airways is helping to expedite and to offset the huge costs we face in responding to the growing needs of refugees in the country."

By transporting the goods over the weekend when demands for commercial activities are at their lowest, TPG was able to assist WFP's emergency response activities in a very cost effective and flexible manner.

"This airlift is part of TPG's global commitment to leverage our core competences to help WFP tackle the issue of global hunger," said TPG's CEO Peter Bakker. "This airlift is an example of how private sector companies can use their skills and expertise to the benefit of the 800 million hungry people around the world."

Over the last year, fighting in Darfur, Western Sudan, between the Government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), as well as ethnic/tribal clashes, have forced an estimated 600,000 people to flee their homes both within Sudan and across the border into Chad. A recent assessment to south Darfur found that 46 of the total 62 villages had been completely burned, while the remaining 16 had been looted.

In December 2002, Mail, Express and Logistics company TPG N.V. committed itself to partnering with WFP in its fight against world hunger for at least five years. As the biggest corporate sponsor of WFP, the world's largest humanitarian aid agency, TPG is making available its highly qualified staff, skills, systems and assets. With similar expertise in both transportation and logistics, WFP and TPG share the common values of speed, reliability and efficiency, as well as a 'results-based' culture.

"International aid agencies, both large and small, share the goal of maximising the assistance they are able to provide their beneficiaries and TPG is helping WFP revolutionise the way we reach that goal," said Morris.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency. In 2002 WFP fed 72 million people in 82 countries including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people.

WFP Global School Feeding Campaign -- As the largest provider of nutritious meals to poor school children, WFP has launched a global campaign aimed at ensuring the world's 300 million undernourished children are educated.

For more information please contact:

Benedicte Pansier, WFP Communications Officer, Tel: 39 06 6513 3223

René McGuffin, WFP Public Information Officer, Tel: 39 06 6513 2430

Tony Danby, Senior Press Officer, TPG Media Relations, Tel: + 31 20 500 6426

For photographs, contact:

Rein Skullerud, WFP Information Office, Tel: 39 06 6513 2687

For video footage, contact:

Jonathan Dumont, WFP Video Producer, Tel: 39 06 6513 3152

Page publication date: 8 December 2003 at 14:00 CET