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Food aid to Sudan

Our sincere appreciation goes to reporter Edward Girardet for the excellent article June 24 entitled ``In Sudan, aid workers keep on truckin' food to famine victims.'' Because of distance, it is very difficult for people who contribute funds to CARE to feel close to the overseas projects they support, and see the fruits of their gifts. Your article helped describe the massive amounts of food and other aid CARE delivers in Sudan, just one of over 30 countries in which we provide help to people in need.

Our success in trucking food is reflective of the relative success overall CARE and other agencies are having with meeting the current crisis in Africa. Leon M. Blum Director, New England Regional Office of CARE Boston

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I share the urgency to deliver food to where it is needed which was captured in your June 27 editorial ``Trucks in demand.'' I have just returned from Sudan, where I headed a six-man team to look at the problems of food distribution. Though there is much food in Port Sudan, not enough is being moved internally, where it is desperately needed.

The problem is not a lack of generosity on the part of the international donors. The problem lies with the Sudanese railroad. It is the only viable transport that is capable of moving the necessary large amount of food. The railway's priority has been the movement of commercial goods rather than relief aid.

Sudan is the size of the US east of the Mississippi River, with fewer roads than Rhode Island. The terrain is so treacherous that truckers will rarely make a second trip to areas where food is needed; a trip often taking up to six weeks. Neither is attempting to fly hundreds of thousands of tons of food where there are few landing strips an answer.

The answer to increasing food distribution in Sudan lies with Sudanese railway officials to consistently increase and maintain the amount of food delivered. As Agency for International Development administrator M. Peter McPherson said, ``We can donate the food, we can't deliver the will.'' Julius W. Becton Jr., Director Inter-Agency Task Force on the African Emergency, Washington

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