New York, NY (BBN)- A United Nations ship carrying life-saving food, medical supplies, doctors and other relief items arrived at the Libyan port of Misrata on Thursday.

“This is a breakthrough for the UN humanitarian operation in Libya and allows us to reach tens of thousands of people who are caught in one of the fiercest areas of conflict,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), which chartered the vessel, according to a UN press statement.

Working with partners such as the Libyan Red Crescent, WFP plans to provide food to more than 600,000 people inside Libya over the next three months, it stated in a news release.

“The operation in Libya is complex and dangerous, but we are exploring every possible avenue to get food to the hungry,” said Ms. Sheeran. “This means moving food assistance and other relief supplies by road from Egypt, and by sea into the main ports along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN relief chief Valerie Amos have voiced deep concern at the ongoing attacks on civilians and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in several cities across the North African nation, including Misrata.

BBN/SSR/AD-08Apr11-10:09 am (BST)