UN Could Halt Humanitarian Flights In Niger Republic For Lack Of Funding

The World Food Programme and the UN issued a warning on Friday, stating that 4.3 million people in coup-affected Niger are in need of help, and that the suspension of humanitarian flights could happen soon due to a shortage of financing.

The international organization had declared in the middle of November that it would resume its humanitarian flights after they had been put on hold following a military coup on July 26 that resulted in the removal of elected leader Mohamed Bazoum.

The UN’s humanitarian response agency OCHA and the World Food Programme (WFP) announced in a joint statement that the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) may be abruptly discontinued due to a shortage of financing.

It further stated that although half of UNHAS’s $13.5 million budget for 2024—which is overseen by the AFP—was desperately needed, there was still no assurance of funding at this time.

Jean-Noel Gentile, the national director and representative of the World Food Program (WFP) in Niger, stated that the UNHAS was already compelled to downsize its fleet from two aircraft to one due to funding constraints.

He emphasized that in the absence of rapid extra funding, the full UNHAS service would have to be discontinued starting in February 2024 and that the action was taken to decrease operating expenses immediately.

The UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator Louise Aubin was told to leave Niger by the country’s military authorities in October.

The country has been subject to heavy economic sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) since the July coup.


Written by PH

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