European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Flying Aid to the Sahel's Remote Villages

Through its humanitarian department, the European Commission provides a vital lifeline to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). Managed by the World Food Programme (WFP), UNHAS transports passengers from the humanitarian community and light cargo to parts of the world where other airlines are unable to access.

The air service relies on voluntary contributions to facilitate its operations across the world, allowing humanitarians to establish and maintain their projects in assistance to vulnerable people most in need. In 2016, the EU Humanitarian Aid contributed to UNHAS operations in Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen. As of December 2016, these funds had supported the transportation of 159 450 passengers and 1 154 tonnes of cargo to over 175 regular destinations.

In Cameroon, one passenger, Marie LaFleur of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was extremely grateful,“UNHAS has been very helpful to the humanitarian community in Cameroon and especially to the MSF teams. It is amazing that at little cost and especially in all safety, we can easily access places which were once unreachable.” This is only one of several testimonials received from the humanitarian workers that UNHAS transports.

Text © WFP/ Bianka Zyra

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