The European Commission's Directorate for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has contributed Euros 2.3 million (approximately US$2.5 million) to support air and sea transport services in Yemen, run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

As the lead agency of the Logistics Cluster, WFP manages a Special Operation to support the humanitarian community logistics coordination, information management, provision of fuel and temporary storage facilities.

"The EU contribution will enable WFP to address one of the main challenges hampering an appropriate response to the needs of millions of Yemenis," said WFP Yemen Country Director Torben Due. "More than 80 percent of the population in Yemen are estimated to be in need of humanitarian support and WFP logistical assistance is essential in helping other humanitarian organizations operate in the country."

WFP activated the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in May 2015 to provide safe and reliable air transport services to both humanitarian workers and cargo to facilitate the response to the crisis in Yemen.

"Since the eruption of hostilities in March 2015, humanitarian needs in Yemen have increased significantly due to massive displacement, unemployment and the impact of the conflict on people's lives. The humanitarian community in the country requested WFP to establish UNHAS, which is key to addressing the most urgent humanitarian needs in the country," added Due.

Over the past two months, UNHAS has transported 1,297 passengers from 56 organizations between Sana'a, Djibouti and Amman.

"It is of great importance that aid workers are able to travel safely in and out of Yemen in order to ensure timely delivery of humanitarian aid to people in need," said head of office of EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) in Yemen Christophe Reltien. "With these funds, we are able to provide safe and reliable transport to hundreds of aid workers."

The WFP-led Logistics Cluster also facilitates a weekly passenger transport shuttle by sea between Aden and Djibouti aboard a WFP-chartered vessel as the port city is currently inaccessible by air. Since WFP launched this service in April, the vessel has transported 283 passengers from 19 international organizations operating in Aden.

The Logistics Cluster has also distributed to humanitarian partners a total of 1 million litres of fuel since the beginning of the year.

WFP is currently providing assistance to nearly seven million people in Yemen through food distributions and vouchers. The food agency is also aiming to treat and help prevent Moderate Acute Malnutrition, also known as wasting, among over 700,000 children under five, and pregnant and nursing women.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Source: World Food Programme.

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