Libya

European Union helps humanitarian air service keep flying in Libya

Tripoli – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received a €1 million contribution from the European Union to support WFP-led humanitarian air operations in Libya.

The funds support the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) and will allow humanitarian organization staff to reach Libya’s most remote areas, to transport life-saving medical items related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to transport other humanitarian supplies.

This donation comes at a critical time when security and access across Libya remain precarious, especially with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. UNHAS is now reaching four destinations in Libya that include Benghazi, Misrata, Tripoli and Sebha. WFP is exploring the possibility of opening other routes in the south that may include Alkufrah.

“UNHAS is providing life-saving support to people across Libya with its humanitarian air service. The European Union is glad to be able to contribute to aid organizations reaching vulnerable communities in the whole of Libya, including the most remote parts of the country,” said Ambassador to the European Delegation of the European Union in Libya H.E José Antonio Sabadell.

In 2021, UNHAS has transported around 4.5 tonnes of cargo, including medical supplies and COVID-19 vaccines that were airlifted from Tripoli to Sebha and Benghazi on behalf of the UN medical section.

“WFP is extremely grateful to the European Union for their generous contribution that could not have come at a better time,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Libya Rawad Halabi. “Without this contribution, UNHAS would have been grounded by the end of November with serious consequences for people living in some of the most remote parts of the country.”

From January 2021 until November 2021 UNHAS has operated 149 flights, transporting over 2,695 humanitarian, donor, and development personnel between Tunis, Misratah, Sebha, Tripoli, and Benghazi.

“Going forward, UNHAS can continue supporting the humanitarian response by transporting aid workers and cargo to areas where access is difficult and where populations face high needs, especially the south of the country,” added Sabadell.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Contact Seetashma Thapa, WFP/Libya, email: seetashma.thapa@wfp.org mobile: +977 985-1133873

Alaa AbouGhrara, WFP/Libya, email: alaa.aboughrara@wfp.org mobile: +218 91 304 2817