SANDF provides plane for aid delivery

2011-08-15 21:19
Johannesburg - A South African military aircraft will deliver 18 tons of supplies to famine victims in Somalia this week, aid group Gift of the Givers said on Monday.

The C130 Hercules airplane would deliver essential food and anti-malaria medication to Mogadishu on Tuesday, said chairman Imtiaz Sooliman.

Department of international relations and co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela said the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) would be delivering the supplies for free.

This is Gift of the Givers sixth flight to the region.

The fifth flight landed on Saturday.

"It is heartening to note that Mogadishu civil aviation granted Gift of the Givers landing rights in less than 5 minutes of receipt of paperwork.

"[This was done] in appreciation of our continuous support to the suffering thousands in Somalia."

Sooliman said the Gift of the Givers were discussing the possibility of more flights with local and Somali government officials.

"There will be more but we just need to see if they will be sponsored as well," he said.

The famine in Somalia killed tens of thousands of people, with more than 12 million people in need of food aid in the Horn of Africa.

Unfair

The United Kingdom-based charity organisation, Oxfam, told the Associated Press (AP) on Monday, that South Africa was not doing enough for victims.

Oxfam official Irungu Houghton said the aid coming from the South African government was not enough given the country's more stable economic status.

"African citizens have already rallied to the cause and made significant contributions. But now we need African governments to follow their lead," Houghton said.

"Most are yet to make a decent contribution and show the true meaning of African solutions to African problems."

Houghton said his organisation expected African governments to raise at least $50m.

Monyela said criticism of South Africa's response to the disaster were unfair.

"We do not understand how people can criticise us while our aid mission is still going on," he said.

"We have already pledged R8m in aid, and we have partnered with Gift of the Givers to assist all the affected people."

- SAPA
Read more on:    oxfam  |  gift of the givers  |  sandf  |  somalia  |  africa drought  |  east africa hunger  |  east africa
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