This operation has been revised as per budget revision 1. (see below)
WFP established its United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in 2007 to facilitate access for humanitarian staff to reach remote and vulnerable areas of Ethiopia. Classified as one of the world’s most underdeveloped countries, nearly 10 percent of Ethiopia’s population of 85 million is vulnerable to food insecurity and depends on national safety-net programmes.1 As of June 2014, an estimated 2.7 million people2 require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs for survival. Since July 2011, humanitarian activities in south-eastern Ethiopia, and in particular Dolo Ado, have increased due to the influx of refugees escaping civil unrest, violence, and drought in south-central Somalia. In August 2014, Ethiopia became the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with more than 650,000 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan.
UNHAS plays a vital role in the overall humanitarian response by ensuring reliable access to key project implementation sites. The Special Operation (SO) 200711 will be managed by the WFP Ethiopia Country Office for the period 1 January 2015 - 31 December 2015 at a budgeted cost of US$8,978,222. The interests of the humanitarian community will continue to be represented by the UNHAS User Group Committee (UGC) composed of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations (UN) agencies and donor representatives. The UGC meets regularly and handles administrative matters, provides feedback on service quality and identifies destinations to be served. The budget requirementswill be raised through donor contributions (approx. 85%) and a partial cost-recovery (approx. 15%) in the form of ticket sales. The fleet will be composed of three aircrafts serving seven regular destinations.
Fleet composition and operational routes have been determined after needs assessments and consultations with relevant stakeholders. The project will be implemented through standard WFP management structures and support systems and regularly reviewed in accordance with standard procedures in order to minimize risks and ensure operational efficiency.
Budget Revision 1 to SO 200711 extends the project in time for 12 months to ensure continued provision of air transport services to the humanitarian community until 31 December 2016, with a subsequent budget increase of US$9,076,582.