Wings slice through the sky,
Propeller spins with a hum,
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)1, managed by the World Food Programme (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 intervention. It is the only humanitarian air service that gives equal access to all humanitarian entities.
UNHAS responds to the need for access to the world's most remote and challenging locations, often under precarious security conditions, where no safe surface transport or viable commercial aviation options are available. Sometimes natural disasters – such as the recent Caribbean hurricanes – leave air transport as the only mean of access; at other times, it is conflict that puts entire areas beyond the reach of land transport or commercial flights. Created precisely for such scenarios, UNHAS provides access for humanitarian workers and cargo, allowing life-saving projects to be implemented and monitored.
To fulfil its mission, UNHAS uses a fleet of more than 90 aircraft, including helicopters, chartered from commercial air operators that are compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization Standards and Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPs) and the United Nations Aviation Standards for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Air Transport Operations (UNAVSTADS).
We have been fortunate and privileged to have used the UNHAS flights in Mali, Niger and the Central African Republic on numerous occasions, thanks to the contracts our clients have with WFP. We have been to places that are far away, hard to reach and of the beaten track. To Agadez, Diffa, Zinder and Maradi in Niger, to Gao, Mopti and Timbouctou in Mali and to Kaga-Bandoro and Paoua in the Central African Republic.
All photos © Aries Consult ltd.
1 Taken from the WFP website