AWB Limited Managing Director Andrew Lindberg today announced AWB and the Australian government would lead the way by delivering vital wheat supplies to the Iraqi people.
Mr Lindberg welcomed the support of the Australian Government who through AusAid have made immediate arrangements to purchase the two existing cargoes which were destined for Iraq under existing contracts and are currently near Oman, to allow the urgent flow of wheat supplies to continue to the people of Iraq.
"We are determined and committed to the ongoing flow of wheat to the Iraqi Grains Board to continue the supply of food to the Iraqi people but were prevented from doing so by the safety concerns of the vessel owners as well as the temporary suspension of the Oil-for-Food program," said Mr Lindberg.
"The Australian Government’s commitment to purchase the 100,000 tonnes of Australian wheat will now allow the cargoes to be delivered and unloaded as soon as it is safe, and we are very appreciative of their valuable support.
"With over 50 years of trading we have developed very strong relationships and bonds with the Iraqi people and their humanitarian needs are foremost in our minds.
"In light of announcements that extra food aid supplies will be provided to Iraq, we believe AWB is best positioned to provide this through our existing shipping program and we are reassured by the Government’s announcement that it will do all it can to protect this important trade relationship.
"We have proved our ability to provide the exact qualities and quantities required to meet the specific and discrete requirements of the Iraqi people, and we have the logistical understanding to ensure the grain can be delivered and distributed.
"In addition, our geographical location means we are best placed to pre-position and deliver the wheat when it is needed.
"We provided the first wheat deliveries immediately after the 1991 Gulf War, and we are on track to do it again," said Mr Lindberg.
For further information contact:
Peter McBride, AWB Limited, on 03 9209 2174 or 0417 662 451
Ryan McKinlay, AWB Limited, on 03 9209 2324 or 0408 347 282
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