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Coronavirus – Africa: Republic of Korea powers humanitarian air service during COVID-19

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ROME, Italy, August 6, 2020/ — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea has contributed US$ 2.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), enabling it to continue providing United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) in countries where conflicts, natural disasters and the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic are pushing millions into hunger and poverty.

“This vital funding comes at a time when essential humanitarian air services are needed more than ever – due to air traffic limitations caused by COVID-19. UNHAS will make it possible for not just supplies – but also humanitarian responders – to reach areas that would be impossible to get to, and carry out life-saving work,” said Hyoung-Joon Lim, Director of WFP Korea Office.

This generous funding from the Republic of Korea will enable UNHAS to provide passenger flights for the humanitarian community in Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan and Chad, enabling responders to reach remote communities that urgently require assistance, and ensuring vital medical cargo can reach the front-lines of the pandemic.

In these countries, UNHAS transports more than 110,000 passengers and 380 mt of relief supplies every year. This ensures that 300 humanitarian and development organizations are able to reach the affected populations in 72 destinations across the four countries, largely in remote and hard-to-reach locations, where humanitarian needs are high.

UNHAS – managed by WFP – offers safe, reliable, cost-efficient and effective passenger and light cargo transport for the wider humanitarian community to and from areas of crisis and humanitarian operations. It is the only humanitarian air service that gives equal access to all humanitarian entities.

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