The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a generous contribution of US$1 million from Japan to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Sudan, which is managed by WFP.
WFP will use this contribution to continue to provide reliable and safe air services through UNHAS to the humanitarian community, enabling travel to remote and hard-to-reach locations across Darfur and in central and eastern Sudan.
"Service of UNHAS is vital, both for people in need and to the humanitarian community. Without the services UNHAS provides, it would be quite difficult to continue humanitarian assistance for people in need who live in remote areas. It is my pleasure for Japan to financially support UNHAS along with other donors," said Japanese Ambassador Hideki Ito.
Japan is an important donor to UNHAS in Sudan, contributing a total of US$10.7 million over the past five years towards the service. These contributions have enabled WFP to provide much needed assistance to food insecure populations across the country and allowed UNHAS to continue serving the humanitarian community in Sudan.
"WFP is grateful to the Government and people of Japan for their continued support to our operations in Sudan. This contribution reflects their commitment and will ensure that UNHAS will continue flying humanitarian aid workers to locations where their help is needed most by vulnerable groups across the country," said WFP Sudan Representative Matthew Hollingworth.
In 2016, UNHAS flew a total of 4,280 hours, providing its critical service to 22,158 passengers from 78 organizations, including UN and NGO staff, government officials, donor representatives and diplomats. It also transported 120 metric tons of light cargo and carried out 13 medical evacuations.
Established in Sudan in 2004, UNHAS is run by a steering committee comprising representatives of UN agencies, NGOs and donors, but is directly managed by WFP Sudan.Currently, UNHAS has a fleet of five aircraft, including two fixed-wing aircraft and three helicopters. While the fixed-wing aircraft provide air shuttle services from Khartoum to the three Darfur state capitals, the helicopters facilitate humanitarian travel to areas that are inaccessible by road, either due to insecurity or poor road conditions.