Budget revision 1 seeks to extend the project in time for five and a half months, from 15 December 2011 to 31 May 2012, with a consequent budget increase to ensure the continued provision of air transport services for the humanitarian, development and donor community in Iraq.
In the coming year, the United Nations (UN) humanitarian agencies plan to open additional operational hubs in Iraq and increase their international presence in those hubs and in Baghdad. On 14 November 2010, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq officially requested WFP to start preparations to resume United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) for flights into and within Iraq. Such flights had ceased in December 2003.
This special operation is proposed for the provision of a safe, reliable and costeffective air transport service to the United Nations agencies, international nongovernmental organisation (NGO) and donor community operating in Iraq.
The WFP/UNHAS operation will be integrated with the United Nations assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) operations, applying the same security coverage and procedures as UNAMI’s as enforced by United Nations Department of Security and Safety(UNDSS) via specific Security Risk Assessments (SRAs).
Through this project, UNHAS, managed by WFP, will operate one Embraer 135 aircraft, or similar, equipped with a self protection system and based initially in Amman (Jordan) and/or Erbil (Iraq). The aircraft will primarily operate flights within Iraq, using the Baghdad military side of the airport, which is more secure than the civilian side of the airport. Flights will be provided to various locations in Iraq, including Erbil, Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Tallil and Sulaymani, and, if required, Kuwait. Until such time as UN staff are cleared to fly commercial airlines into and out of Baghdad, flights will also be offered to Marka Airport in Amman, Jordan.
The project funding is expected to be raised mainly through donor contributions, complemented by a partial cost recovery from the users of the service (estimated at 13% of the project funding requirement). The project is prepared for 12 months, from 15 December 2010 to 14 December 2011 at a total budgeted cost of US$ 11,524,872 with a possibility of extension if the need for the service remains.