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Derek Taylor, of the Australian Agency for International Development, said one ship of wheat that Australia has provided to aid Iraqis has arrived in Kuwait and another has been diverted to Jordan. The food is being delivered as part of the United Nation’s oil-for-food program.

Derek Taylor, of the Australian Agency for International Development, said one ship of wheat that Australia has provided to aid Iraqis has arrived in Kuwait and another has been diverted to Jordan. The food is being delivered as part of the United Nation’s oil-for-food program. (David Josar / S&S)

Derek Taylor, of the Australian Agency for International Development, said one ship of wheat that Australia has provided to aid Iraqis has arrived in Kuwait and another has been diverted to Jordan. The food is being delivered as part of the United Nation’s oil-for-food program.

Derek Taylor, of the Australian Agency for International Development, said one ship of wheat that Australia has provided to aid Iraqis has arrived in Kuwait and another has been diverted to Jordan. The food is being delivered as part of the United Nation’s oil-for-food program. (David Josar / S&S)

Dockworkers in Kuwait unload some of the 50,000 tons of wheat from Australia that arrived this week. The wheat will be turned over to the World Food Programme, which will mill it into flour for distribution.

Dockworkers in Kuwait unload some of the 50,000 tons of wheat from Australia that arrived this week. The wheat will be turned over to the World Food Programme, which will mill it into flour for distribution. (David Josar / S&S)

SHUAIBA PORT, Kuwait — The first large-scale shipment of food, 50,000 tons of wheat from Australia, has arrived to help feed the people of Iraq.

And the American in charge of delivering humanitarian assistance said more is on the way.

“So far, there is not a humanitarian crisis,” said George F. Ward Jr., coordinator of humanitarian assistance for the newly created Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. “Still, we need to make sure people have food.”

Wednesday’s unloading of wheat at the port was one of the first public signs of how the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, created by the Pentagon to rebuild Iraq, will operate. Retired U.S. Army Gen. Jay Garner, who arrived in Kuwait during the past week, will be in charge of the agency.

The wheat was being unloaded from the Pearl of Fujairah, an Australian ship, and would be given to the World Food Programme, said Derek Taylor, of the Australian Agency for International Development. Taylor said the 50,000 tons of wheat being unloaded is enough to feed more than 1.7 million people for six months.

U.S. humanitarian aid efforts will first target southern and northern Iraq, Ward said, and will then spread as other parts of the country are stabilized. At the request of the World Food Programme, a second shipment of wheat is being redirected to Aqaba, Jordan, so a second corridor for humanitarian aid can be opened to the west, said Alexander Downer, Australian minister for foreign affairs.

Australia has provided wheat to Iraq under the United Nations’ Oil for Food Program. The recent shipments were made after a U.N. request.

On Wednesday, cranes were being used to remove wheat from the Pearl of Fujairah because the ship was so heavy it could not make it to the port in Umm Qasr in southern Iraq. The harbor in Iraq is not deep enough for the ship to dock.


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