3 Aug 2007

Food aid sent to drought areas of FSM

3:31 pm on 3 August 2007

An emergency food assistance programme is being implemented in the drought-ridden areas of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The programme was ordered by the US President George W Bush as part of the recent emergency declaration issued for Micronesia.

The food shortages are the result of a continuing drought, which began in March.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency's coordinating officer Woodrow Goins Jr says they have a specialist team working with Chuuk State officials to administer the programme.

"Our estimates are that there are approximately 1,600 people spread out over six islands - those are the islands in Chuuk State that are eligible for the assistance at this time, and we are coordinating with the State of Chuuk to ensure that the assistance is delivered."

Mr Goins describes the situation as serious and says it has been exacerbated by high wave action during the spring, which caused further crop damage.