This new Special Operation (SO 201029) is a continuation of SO 200786, which was implemented between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, and adapts to the current humanitarian context. It is designed to continue the provision of air access by the humanitarian community to locations within the Republic of South Sudan through a safe, reliable, effective and efficient service during 2017.
This SO will be managed by the WFP Country Office in South Sudan, in consultation with the Steering Committee (SC) and the User Group Committee (UGC), to facilitate humanitarian access to 55 scheduled locations in the country. To overcome logistical constraints such as vast distances, poor road infrastructure and increasing insecurity, air transport is the only viable option to support time-critical humanitarian interventions.
Nearly 50 percent of the population are victims of conflict-induced humanitarian crises across South Sudan; nearly 2.4 million people, one in every five, have been forced to flee their homes since the conflict began . The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), through this SO, will enable access to millions of people in need. Food, protection and access to health facilities are among the priority needs in South Sudan.
The humanitarian situation has significantly worsened in the aftermath of the July 2016 conflict in Juba, with the emergence of new hot spots across the country including previously stable regions such as the Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Equatoria. It is expected that the humanitarian community will maintain and scale up its activities across the country due to the recent surge in need following the July fighting, and will continue to depend on UNHAS to access hard to reach locations.