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WFP Executive Director thanks Cyprus for support
2006-09-07 11:47:08

Larnaca, Sep 7 - Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) James Morris expressed the gratitude of the WFP for the support it had from Cyprus.

Speaking at Larnaca Airport today, after returning from a two-day trip to Lebanon, Mr. Morris said he traveled to ''a couple of highly affected smaller cities in the south of Lebanon'' and that on Monday he spoke to the League of Arab States in Cairo. Tomorrow he is leaving for Washington via Frankfurt.

Mr. Morris said he came to Cyprus ''to express the profound thanks and gratitude of the WFP, the UN humanitarian community, for the really extraordinary remarkable support we had from Cyprus.''

''I also wanted to thank Cyprus for what it did for us during the Iraq problems three years ago. We run many of our operations for Iraq out of Larnaca and the government and the citizens of this country have been generous with their facilities, with the support of the government, with the support of the military, and simply making our work easy,'' he added.

Mr. Morris noted that ''in Iraq over the last year and a half we fed 27 million people and in Lebanon we have been feeding 714 thousand people.''

''Thank goodness the blockade today has been lifted and the effort to move that much food and other non-food items like water, sanitation, and pharmaceutical products into Lebanon is enormous work and the people of Cyprus should know that they played a monumental role in making all this possible and surely the people of Iraq, the people of Lebanon and the people are very grateful,'' he said.

He also said that the government of Cyprus has been ''a strong partner in WFP's major emergency operations, most recently in Lebanon and in Iraq,'' noting that ''we remain grateful for the generous support that Cyprus frequently offers to our most difficult operations.''

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