The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of EUR 11.9 million from the European Union (EU) through its Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) for the provision of EU Humanitarian Aid Flights (HAF).
This contribution will allow WFP to implement the EU HAF services from March to December 2023, utilizing WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) capacities and deployment on the ground, with a focus on Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
These flights aim to facilitate key access through humanitarian air transport services to populations in need of assistance, especially in hard-to-reach areas where no surface transport 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 since November 2022, and in Madagascar to support the cyclone response.
The EU HAF project is flexible and agile in responding to changing environments in protracted settings, and will continually make the adjustments needed for dedicated, safe, and cost-effective air transport in support of EU-funded humanitarian projects in existing or new operational settings.
“We are grateful to the European Union for continuing its commitment to WFP, allowing UNHAS to provide vital support to humanitarian workers to reach populations in need,” says Philippe Martou, WFP’s Chief of Aviation.
Following a coordinated approach that ensures complementarity between UNHAS and EU-HAF services, the collaboration, which is currently active in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, and Mali, leverages the substantial experience and existing partnerships of the two services, optimizing operational outputs and offering effective and efficient air services for the humanitarian and development communities in those countries. Since its launch in 2020, the WFP-managed EU HAF has transported more than 35,000 passengers and 600 metric tons of light humanitarian cargo.