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UN chief holds talks on Georgia

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hold discussions with his top advisers on the world body's approach to the current conflict and deteriorating humanitarian situation.

world Updated: Aug 17, 2008 10:30 IST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held discussions with his top advisers on the world body's approach to the current conflict and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Georgia.

The yesterday's meeting comes in the backdrop of criticism that the United Nations has been slow in reacting to the crisis in the country.

Ban also had discussions separately with the five permanent members of the Security Council which itself has sharp divisions among the Western members and Russia.

Details of the discussion were not immediately available.

Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is responding to an urgent request from the Georgian Government by sending a truckload of food to the town of Gori.

"We understand the food situation in Gori has now become desperate," said Lola Castro, WFP's Georgia Country Director. The agency is supplying high-energy biscuits (HEBs) and sugar, while the NGO World Vision International is sending canned meat, buckwheat, pasta and tea.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that close to 115,000 people have been uprooted from their homes since heavy fighting began over a week ago.

Last Wednesday, WFP airlifted 34 metric tons of HEBs donated by the European Union from Italy, helping some 18,000 people in and around the capital Tbilisi. A further 58 tons of HEBs arrived at the city today.

WFP, has so far sent food assistance for 34,000 people forced to flee from their homes.

The agency is leading the coordination of food assistance and plans to offer logistical support to other aid partners.

Approximately 30,000 South Ossetians are believed to have crossed the border into North Ossetia, part of Russia and WFP is monitoring the situation, Castro said.