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European Union maintains its commitment for World Food Programme

Contribution of 11.9 million euros for the supply of aircraft for humanitarian aid

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of €11.9 million from the European Union (EU) through its Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG Echo) for the supply of EU humanitarian aid flights (HAF). This contribution will enable WFP to roll out EU HAF services from March to December 2023, using the capabilities and field deployment of the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), with a focus on Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

These flights aim to facilitate key access through humanitarian airlift services to populations in need of assistance, especially in hard-to-reach areas where no surface transportation is suitable. The contribution also extends the possibility to cover responses in other countries through ad hoc/temporary flights - such as Burkina Faso - with flights active from November 2022, and in Madagascar to support the cyclone response.

The EU Project HAF is flexible and agile in responding to changing environments in sustained contexts and will continuously make the necessary adjustments for dedicated, safe and cost-effective air transport in support of EU-funded humanitarian projects in existing or new operational contexts.

"We are grateful to the European Union for continuing its commitment to WFP, enabling UNHAS to provide vital support to humanitarian workers reaching populations in need," said Philippe Martou, WFP's aviation chief.

Following a coordinated approach that ensures complementarity between the Unhas and Eu-Haf services, the collaboration, currently active in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Madagascar and Mali, builds on the considerable experience and existing partnerships of the two services, optimizing operational results and delivering effective and efficient air services to the humanitarian and development communities in those countries. Since its launch in 2020, the WFP-managed EU HAF has carried more than 35,000 passengers and 600 tonnes of light humanitarian cargo.

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EFA News - European Food Agency