First UN Aid Convoys Roll into Afghanistan

Published September 30th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The first humanitarian aid to enter Afghanistan since the terrorist attacks on the United States three weeks ago rolled across the Pakistan border Sunday, bringing some hope for millions of displaced and near-starving Afghans. 

Fourteen trucks, carrying 400 tons of wheat were allowed through the closed border crossings of Torkham in northwest Pakistan and Chaman near the southwestern city of Quetta early Sunday, UN World Food Program (WFP) spokesman Khaled Mansour told AFP. 

The two convoys were headed for WFP warehouses in the Afghan capital Kabul and the western city of Herat. 

"These shipments are being made on a trial basis," Mansour said. 

"Our criterion for the success of this mission is for us to ensure that the food gets to the people that need it and not to anyone else." 

The wheat will be unloaded into warehouses in Kabul and Herat and then moved to those areas of greatest need. 

"If we can do all this, we will continue with these shipments in the future," Mansour said. 

The closure of the border and the disruption of aid programs in Afghanistan since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington have prompted a massive humanitarian appeal by the United Nations, which says nearly eight million Afghans are in need of emergency assistance -- PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP)

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