The Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan, has become a vital relay point for aid now flowing to the drought-stricken countries of West Africa.
GV & CU Supplies being unloaded from ship unto quayside (4 shots)
SV Workers stacking supplies
GV Fork lift trucks loading sacks onto lorry
GV Quayside unloading
MV Sacks with corn moved by fork lift truck
GV ZOOM OUT large warehouse with supplies stacked under tarpaulin
Initials ES. 3.49 ES. 3.59
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Background: The Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan, has become a vital relay point for aid now flowing to the drought-stricken countries of West Africa.
On Monday (July 9) nine French Army lorries loaded with corn left Abidjan for Upper Volta and every Wednesday and Thursday trains carrying rice and sorghum leave for destinations in Mali and Upper Volta to try to get the supplies lifting up at the port to the people desperately in need of them.
Another train is planned for Sundays to take sugar and corn to Banfora in Upper Volta.
On Saturday (July 7) 890 tons of powered milk, were unloaded from the Danish ship Alameda -- the first shipment of aid from the European Economic Community.
Among the supplies at the port awaiting transhipment are 800 tons of salt and 1,000 tons of rice destined for Upper Volta and 9,500 tons of rice and 1,500 tons of sugar for Mali.
The drought-stricken countries are Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Upper Volta, Niger and Chad.
Already nearly half of the estimated 55 million cattle and livestock in the area have perished and at least one third of the 20 million people affected will face the continued threat of famine even if all the emergency supplies are distributed.
Now the arrival of the rainy season is holding up the distribution of supplies to the six countries. Several important overland routes are already impassable because of mud and the railway system is poor and incapable of handling the vast quantities of food needed.
The six countries haves been promised 470,000 tons of food and grain by individual countries and United Nations organisations. But most of the supplies have either not yet arrived at coastal ports or are stockpiled there awaiting transportation and distribution.