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Russian flour reaches Afghanistan under new aid program


KABUL, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 25 rail cars loaded with high-quality Russian flour have already arrived in the Afghan city of Hairaton, an economic and trade advisor to the Russian Embassy in Afghanistan said on Thursday.

The deliveries of food to Afghanistan, where about 300 people have recently died of hunger and cold during an unusually severe winter, were set up by the UN World Food Program. Russia is one of the program's leading donors.

"As many as 25 rail cars with Russian flour have arrived in Hairaton via Uzbekistan and 21 of them have been unloaded. A total of 1,500 tons of flour has already been shipped to Afghanistan," Georgy Mishin said.

Mishin said that a total of 147 rail cars loaded with flour had been dispatched from Russia and 40 of them were currently on the territory of Uzbekistan.

Russia's Foreign Ministry earlier said that Moscow would send a total of 17,900 tons of flour to Afghanistan this February.

"The latest humanitarian aid is intended to help the Afghan government overcome the unfavorable situation as regards food supplies," the Foreign Ministry said on its website.

Since 2002, Russia has delivered humanitarian aid worth over $40 million to Afghanistan. In January 2008 Russia sent 3,100 tons of wheat flour to the country.

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