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Russia to supply aid to Afghanistan in early Feb.

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MOSCOW, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Emergencies Ministry is to make deliveries of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in early February 2008, a ministry source said on Friday.

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

"On February 2-3, we expect to hand over [to Afghanistan] a 3.3-ton load of wheat flour at the city of Hairaton (near the Uzbek border)," the chief of the ministry's foreign affairs department, Yury Brazhnikov, said.

The load is currently being transported to Termez, in Uzbekistan. A total of 40 carloads have been delivered to the city so far, and ten are due to arrive in the next few days.

In 2007, Russia delivered humanitarian assistance worth about $15 million to Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Cuba. In 2008, the country plans to provide assistance to Somalia, North Korea and Bangladesh.

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