Construction officially started Tuesday on new warehouse facilities for the key WFP logistics hub in Termez, Uzbekistan, which dispatches over 1,000 metric tons of food aid to Afghanistan on a daily basis.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement that once completed, the facility will increase and improve the flow of humanitarian food from Termez, Uzbekistan to Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan.
Attending the “flag off” event at the WFP complex was Uzbekistan’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Ismatulla Irgashev.
“We are happy that the United Nations is expanding their warehouse capacity here in Termez,” said Irgashev. “At a time when two-thirds of the population of Afghanistan rely on humanitarian assistance to survive, it is our duty as the international community to stand by their side.”
WFP’s existing Logistics Hub in Termez has served as a trans-shipment point for WFP’s Afghanistan operations since 2021 and the agency plans to add an additional 8,000 square meters to the current 14,500 square meter warehouse capacity over the next few months. This will increase WFP’s total storage capacity in Termez by more than half.
“With the support of the Government of Uzbekistan, more than 1,000 metric tons of food are crossing the border from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan each day,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, Country Director for WFP Afghanistan.
“In the upcoming months, this increase to our warehouse capacity will greatly facilitate our ability to serve the 20 million Afghans currently in need of food assistance. While our partners and donors have been incredibly generous with their contributions, we still need an additional US$1.5 billion to reach all the people we have planned to serve.”
Last year, WFP reached 23 million vulnerable people in Afghanistan and distributed 1.1 million metric tons of food and $325 million in cash transfers. Of the 23 million people assisted, 11.6 million were women and 12.3 million were children. In addition, WFP injects an average of $55 million per month into the local economy.