March 8, 2011 / 2:49 PM / 9 years ago

UN says to deliver first food aid in Libya Tuesday

TUNIS, March 8 (Reuters) - A convoy of trucks from the U.N. food agency should reach Libya’s rebel-held port of Benghazi on Tuesday to deliver the first food aid inside the country since a revolt erupted three weeks ago, the agency said.

Because of fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and rebels opposed to his four-decade rule, U.N. aid had so far concentrated on refugees fleeing to Libya’s borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement a convoy carrying 70 metric tonnes of high-energy date bars crossed the Egyptian border overnight on its way to the eastern port.

“This would be the first delivery of food assistance from a U.N. agency to enter the country,” it said.

A shipment of wheat flour which turned back from Benghazi last Thursday amid security concerns set sail for Libya again on Tuesday, it added.

U.N. aid coordinator Valerie Amos said on Monday fighting across Libya meant that more than a million people fleeing or inside the country needed humanitarian aid.

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