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OLS Geared Up and Government Permitted Additional Aircraft

In the month of April, after the flight ban was lifted, the WFP announced that southern Sudan required 6,000 MT of relief food, at least two-thirds of that (4,000 MT) for 350,000 of the worst affected in Bahr El Ghazal. It sought government approval for one C-130.

The numbers of people estimated at risk of famine, the metric tons needed to save them, and the aircraft needed to deliver the food escalated in months between April to August 1999, is described above and in Appendix D. By August, fifteen large cargo planes were authorized and in place to feed 2.4 million in need in southern Sudan.153 Eighteen planes were in the air in September, 154 making deliveries to Bahr El Ghazal of about 15,000 MT155 for an estimated one million in need, in the largest airdrop operation the WFP had ever conducted anywhere. The cost of relief at the height of the 1998 crisis was U.S. $ 1 million a day.156 Generous funding by donors allowed OLS to increase deliveries ten-fold and operate life-saving interventions. For the first time in more than eight years, almost the entire amount appealed for by OLS agencies was received.157

153 "Sudan airlift grows in efforts to combat famine,@ Reuters, Nairobi, August 30, 1998.

154 "Sudan government suspends aid flights to south,@ Reuters, Nairobi, October 1, 1998.

155 WFP, Emergency Report No. 38 of 1998, September 25, 1998: Sudan.

156 OCHA, U.N. Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for Sudan, January-December 1999, New York, January 25, 1999, p. 2.

157 Ibid., p. 1.

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