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WFP stops helicopter service

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015


Just when delivering earthquake relief to remote villages is needed more than ever, the World Food Programme (WFP) has run out of money for its helicopter flights.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) coordinated by the WFP carried out 4,784 sorties in the last eight months, transporting 876 tons of food and 1,763 tons of supplies to remote mountain villages. But the UNHAS is terminating its service on 31 December, meaning that the lifeline for most earthquake shelters in remote areas will be cut.

The WFP’s earthquake emergency operation will also end in January 2016, but it is preparing for the follow up operation which will focus on longer-term support to communities in repairing infrastructure, promoting the restoration of livelihoods and enhancing resilience to future shocks.

“We will work alongside the newly-established National Reconstruction Authority in seven of the most affected districts,” said Francesca Caponera, Deputy Country Director of the WFP Nepal.

On Tuesday, the European Union announced Rs 340 million for the WFP to deliver shelter and emergency relief to mountain communities, but this money is not for helicopter charters. “The EU assistance through WFP’s Remote Access Operation ensures the delivery of food and other humanitarian supplies to the most remote and earthquake-affected parts of the country,” said Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Nepal.

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3 Responses to “WFP stops helicopter service”

  1. hakamani on Says:

    run out of money?? then it’s time to cut down on costs of fancy hotel parties and first class flights for that INGO!

  2. satish Jha on Says:

    Both the organizations, WFP and EU, have done a commendable job in assisting the earthquake victims of Nepal. It breaks our hearts to read such news that the services to the needy people are being discontinued.

  3. Ralph on Says:

    UNHAS was a key role in delivering Humanitarian Aid relief, whether it was food, shelter supplies, etc. RAO is good to have also as a back up to deliver humanitarian aid but unfortunately you cannot rely only on RAO to do these type of delivery, which was not only food but also large shelter supplies, equipment. Many places are non accessible to deliver by these mountainous roads and to these remote areas, especially on a mule. Many villages are still waiting for delivery. One village had to wait 4 months to get just the basic rice and pulse. It was only because UNHAS helicopters that finally had delivered what RAO could not do as they were running 4 months behind, that the food was delivered with UNHAS helicopters, that they received there food. We as NGO’s and locals working with them know more what the people needs then WFP deciding for us.

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