Cyclone Idai: WFP confirms rescue operations were hampered by Jet A1 fuel crisis

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By Staff Reporter

The World Food Programme Wednesday confirmed a story linking current Cyclone Idai aid relief programmes to uncertainty following the shortage of jet fuel.

In its report, said shortages of Jet-A1 fuel were hampering relief efforts in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts where at least 270 000 people are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

However, in a statement Wednesday, WFP confirmed air rescue operations in the affected areas were indeed jeopardised by the crisis but indicated the story was reported late.

“The information in this article is outdated and is causing unnecessary fear and panic,” head of donor relations, communications for WFP in Zimbabwe Ashley Baxstrom said, adding, “WFP has secured adequate fuel supplies for its current operations. In the immediate aftermath of Cyclone Idai, ensuring access to fuel for relief operations was an urgent priority.”

Government, which has been slammed by the opposition for poor handling of the natural disaster, is keen to camouflage its shortcomings in the crisis.

Zimbabwe faces acute fuel shortages which government has blamed on everyone except itself.

While current fuel shortages persist, failure to transport crucial food, medicine and other forms of aid to vulnerable survivors of the catastrophe spotlighted on poor planning by authorities.