HARGEISA, 18 February 2010 (Somalilandpress) – The United Nations Food Program (WFP) has officially started to bring and distribute food aid through Berbera port. It was last week when hundreds of trucks moved from Berbera to deliver food to the central and South Somalia.
Around 70 trucks carrying the WFP food to Galkayo could not through Puntland region when the authorities complained to WFP on using Somaliland as their base to deliver food aid to the central & southern Somalia. The trucks have been stuck in Lasanod for few days before they were allowed to cross the border to resume their trip. Spokesman from Puntland authorities said they considered the dire situation in Somalia and the need for an urgent food assistance among the communities living in those areas.
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Unconfirmed reports say some of the trucks crossed the Ethiopian border to enter Galkayo from the Ethiopian side while they found difficulties to go through Puntland region.
WFP have been using Berbera port for the last few years to deliver aid to Ethiopia. This was benefited by hundreds of Somalis & Ethiopians by transporting those food to the far regions of Ethiopia.
This is the first time WFP extends its food assistance to the central & southern parts of Somalia’s war affected populations. Huge warehouses were build in Berbera in order to stock the food before it is distributed to the respective locations.
Berbera is a strategic coastal town in the gulf of Aden. It connects all the way to Ethiopia through Hargeisa in the west and to Somalia through Burao in the east. The port exports livestock and other products to the Arabian countries as it is only 240km/150mi to Aden in Yemen. The city was home to a small naval port that was built by the Soviets, then later used by the Americans. This is now part of the commercial port.
Berbera is a seaport, with the only sheltered harbour on the south side of the Gulf of Aden