The Government of the Russian Federation has donated 30 KAMAZ trucks to the World Food Programme of the United Nations (WFP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to facilitate food deliveries and distributions to vulnerable people and the provision of services to humanitarian partners in hard-to-reach and crisis-hit areas.
The first batch of 10 trucks arrived in Goma, North Kivu province from Kampala, Uganda, at the end of September. They have been used to transport 100 tons of food for recently-displaced people in Walikale territory. The 20 remaining trucks are expected to arrive in DRC before the end of November.
“WFP greatly appreciates the generosity of the Russian Government and is thankful for this contribution, which will enhance WFP’s fleet operational capacity in DRC,” says WFP Country Director Pablo Recalde.
Russian generosity and WFP logistics expertise
“The Federation of Russia appreciates WFP’s dynamism and efforts in the fight against hunger in DRC,” says the Ambassador of the Federation of Russia, Igor Evdokimov. “We welcome this cooperation and hope that the Kamaz trucks, top of the world in their category, will support the noble objectives of the WFP in DRC.”
WFP already has a fleet of 28 DAF trucks, which have been used on the country’s tortuous and dilapidated roads to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid over the past 10 years. The number of trucks was insufficient to cover all operations. If well-looked after, the trucks have a lifespan of about 40 years.
The Kamaz trucks’ first mission took place on the Kashebere-Kibua-Mpofi axis in Walikale territory in North Kivu. Since July 2015, the area has been home to nearly 17,000 recently-displaced people who fled their villages following clashes between Mayi-Mayi armed groups over the control of mining areas.
WFP distributed food assistance to the displaced in August and September through its partner World Vision. The third and final distribution took place in October. The trucks overcame all the traps of the North Kivu’s ruined roads and accomplished their mission on time and with success.
As part of a 218-truck donation by the Russian Federation, these Kamaz vehicles — valued at US$21 million – are allowing WFP to respond quicker and more efficiently to meet humanitarian needs. So far, around 70% of the trucks have been delivered, and are now transporting WFP food in countries such as Afghanistan, Central African Republic, DRC and South Sudan.
In addition, this donation is helping WFP to strengthen regional truck fleets based in Ghana and Uganda, which are able to rapidly deploy trucks to fill gaps in local transport capacity, reaching those in need with food assistance as quickly as possible.