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Korean Air pledges to assist in Somalia relief efforts

Korean Air is to set out to help improve the livelihood of all mankind as part of its relentless global humanitarian efforts. The airline will take part in the UN World Food Programme to transport relief supplies in an effort to fight against hunger in Africa.

Korean Air and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea are joining hands to participate in the UN World Food Programme which aims to provide food aid to Africa. As famine continues to spread in the continent Korean Air will operate four cargo charter flights each week to transport approximately 400 tonnes of UN relief supplies to Africa starting in late September.

Transportation for the UN World Food Programme comes in two parts – First, Korean Air will provide air transportation between Brussels in Belgium, where the UN food aid is stockpiled, and Mombasa in Kenya. Then, the UN will transport the cargo from Mombasa to Somalia’s disputed regions over land. All transportation costs will be shared between Korean Air and the Korean government.

During his visit to South Korea in August, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to South Korean corporations for humanitarian assistance in resolving famine issues in Africa. Deeply moved by the harshness of life in Africa, Korean Air Chairman & CEO Mr. Yang Ho Cho, who is also the chairman of the Hanjin Group, responded immediately and wasted no time in putting a relief plan into action, with the aim to alleviate the famine issue caused by food shortage in the Horn of Africa.

Korean Air are also trying to use this opportunity to bring these hunger issues to the world’s attention. Eastern Africa has long been suffering from a chronic food shortage, with the situation severely exacerbated by droughts in recent years. It is estimated that 13.3 million people are suffering from famine and malnutrition in four East African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and, in particular, Somalia, where this food aid is to be transported. The UN believe that malnutrition and mortality rates in Somalia have surpassed the thresholds and declared famine in five districts including the refugee camp in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu in August. It is also noted that 3.7 million people, half of Somalia’s population, are facing severe famine.

As a leading global carrier, Korean Air has a strong commitment to helping with relief efforts in times of need. In the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake in 2008, Korean Air dispatched a special cargo flight to transport blankets and mineral water to the quake zone. The carrier also made donations in aid of the relief efforts after the Qinghai earthquake in 2010. In addition, Korean Air also provided free transportation of emergency aid after the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand this year. Korean Air will continue its commitment to active participation in global relief efforts, striving to improve the living standard of all mankind.

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