Members of the House hunger committee say they're concerned a lack of trucks, planes and barges will keep emergency famine-relief supplies from reaching hundreds of thousands of starving Sudanese caught in the African country's civil war.
Four members of the House Select Committee on Hunger recently returned from a trip to Africa, where they said agreements were reached to deliver food and other supplies into the southern part of Sudan."We've gotten people to agree, and we're back here and we don't know that those agreements are going to hold up," said Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y. "There are not enough trucks in that whole country; there aren't enough trucks in the neighboring countries. There aren't enough planes. There is enough food."
Members of the delegation said the goal is to deliver 170,000 metric tons of food before the rainy season begins in mid-May and makes the roads impassable.
Rep. Mickey Leland, a Houston Democrat and chairman of the committee, said the delegation is also "concerned that more nations, the usual members of the donor community, have not come forth to aide the Sudanese people through the United Nations."
Rep. Bill Emerson, R-Mo., pointed to Japan and Western Europe for not being as forthcoming as the United States.
"I am puzzled as to why the countries of Western Europe . . . and Japan have also not gotten on board," Emerson told a news conference Wednesday.
Ackerman said he was "embarrassed that the other nations we share this planet with, our allies, our competitors, our friends, who certainly have a great deal of largesse, have not been as forthcoming as we have."
The EC on Wednesday announced an "action program" of $132 million to cover food and relief needs from April through December.