UN says air service operating in Afghanistan

AP , Thursday 2 Sep 2021

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, a cargo airbridge is being established to transport non-food items such as medical and other emergency supplies to where they are needed the most

UN humanitarian air service in Afghanistan
When snow & ice close the roads in Afghanistan, transport with #UNHAS is crucial to ensure access of aid workers to families & communities in need of assistance. Photo: Courtesy of UN Humanitarian Air Service Official Twitter Account @WFP_UNHAS.

The United Nations says its Humanitarian Air Service is resuming air operations in Afghanistan to enable 160 aid organizations to continue activities in the country's provinces.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the air passenger service, operated by the Rome-based UN World Food Program, is linking the Pakistani capital of Islamabad with Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Kandahar in the southeast.

He said the food program reports that three flights already have taken place to Mazar-i-Sharif since Sunday and that efforts are being made to step up those operations as soon as possible.

In addition, Dujarric said, a cargo airbridge is being established to transport non-food items such as medical and other emergency supplies to where they are needed the most.

He said the Humanitarian Air Service's domestic passenger service needs $18 million and the cargo airbridge needs $12 million to continue operations.

``From 2002 to 2021, the UN Humanitarian Air Service in Afghanistan served more than 20 destinations in the country,'' Dujarric said. ``It will seek to return to these locations once security and funding permits.''

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