WFP warn it would suspend aid to developing countries if lack of funding persists
WFP to suspend humanitarians aid
The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday issued a critical warning declaring that it may soon have “no choice” but to suspend “most” of its critical aid flights, because of a lack of funding.
The UN WFP has been operating such flights to some 132 countries, as travel bans and closed borders in many parts of the world have caused logistics nightmares for the delivery of humanitarian aid and personnel.
(insert instagram post)
The message was put on the WFP verified instagram handle WFP, stating that humanitarian aid would be suspended unless a substantial injection of funds is provided by donors by early July,
“With much of the’ commercial transport grounded, WFP has been helping @WHO
& others to move passengers and health supplies to countries isolated by #COVID19 pandemic.
“A critical lack of funds may force us to stop this life-saving transport service: https://bit.ly/2V0idkq,” it sated in a tweet.
WFP’s spokesperson, Elisabeth Byrs, said that it would be forced to ground most of its humanitarian air fleet by the end of next month.
“I think all the operations will be affected, because you need money to get to charter a plane for passenger and medical evacuation, or to transport cargo”, she told reporters in Geneva.
“I know that slowly and slowly, step by step, some commercial flights will resume and we use them as often as it’s possible”, but there will still be countries, especially in regions like the Middle East, “where it’s badly needed”, said Byrs.
The WFP aviation service has, over recent months, transported huge volumes of urgently-needed medical supplies – including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), masks and ventilators – as well as staff from scores of aid organisations.
WFP also transports goods on behalf of other UN agencies and non-government organisations, by road and by sea.
Ms Byrs said that the current response is on a scale that never never seen before and and with the pandemic showing no signs of ending, it is crucial that the response doesn’t stop now when it is needed most”.
she she explained that common services budget of $965 million to maintain the air service until the end of the year is only 14 per cent funded.
She added that only 178 million US$ has so far been confirmed or advanced,” and some 787 million US$ are urgently required to sustain these essential air cargo and passenger movement operations until the end of the year.
Byrs warned of severe consequences should the humanitarian flights cease explaining that without the service, hospitals in developing countries would not receive desperately needed medical supplies.