The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of AUD$3 million (US$1.96 million) from the Government of Australia to kickstart humanitarian air operations in the Pacific.

With Australia’s generous contribution, WFP’s humanitarian air service in the Pacific will enable humanitarian organisations, national governments and health responders to deliver health and humanitarian cargo, despite the unprecedented border closures between Pacific neighbours and the severe disruptions to commercial aviation services.

“WFP stands ready to provide aviation services in support of our Pacific partners as they face major disruptions in regional supply chains due to COVID-19,” said Jo Pilgrim, Director of WFP’s Pacific Multi-Country office. “Our ability to provide this crucial service is made possible thanks to the support of the Australian Government.”

WFP will work in close coordination with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat and its members to support the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway for COVID-19, a mechanism introduced by PIF members to enhance cooperation between member countries as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Australia’s contribution to the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway, through the World Food Programme, for the transportation of medical and humanitarian supplies under this landmark regional initiative is most welcomed by the Pacific Islands Forum", said Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Since late January, WFP, on behalf of the World Health Organization and humanitarian partners, has dispatched humanitarian and medical cargo to 121 countries towards governments’ COVID-19 response efforts.

Source: WFP News Release