The Special Operation (SO) has been prepared to ensure the continued provision of safe and reliable air transport services to the humanitarian community in Afghanistan for a one-year period from January to December 2016.
Afghanistan has been in protracted conflict for almost thirty-five years, which has seriously hampered poverty reductio and development, strained the fabric of society and depleted the country’s coping mechanisms. Afghanistan is prone to recurrent natural disasters. Given the underlying fragility – at the economic, political and security levels – the country is not able to adequately cope with the consequences of such disasters, and depends on external support provided through the humanitarian community. The considerable scale-up of international aid efforts in 2002 precipitated the need for a robust humanitarian air service in the country. Since then, air services have been implemented through successive operations whilst activities have been adapted to the evolving needs.
Meanwhile, fighting in 2015 has turned out to be the bloodiest on record since 2001. Insecurity significantly increased throughout the country, civilian deaths shot up and the situation led to large-scale displacement forcing many Afghans to flee in search of refuge. Due to the fluid security situation, air access is a necessity and the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has assumed a critical role as part of the larger aid response architecture. In 2015, air services under SO 200639 have assisted 160 humanitarian organizations with access to key locations thereby supporting life-saving relief programmes.
The Special Operation is required for one year, from 1 January to 31 December 2016, at a total cost of US$16,447,642. UNHAS plans to continue to cover 75 percent from donor contributions with the remaining 25 percent of the funding requirements generated from cost-recovery through nominal fees. Full cost-recovery will be applied to dedicated flights.
The project activities will constantly be reviewed and required changes processed through budget revisions.