Skip to main content

In 2019, European Union enabled vital humanitarian air services to continue in Mauritania

Nouakchott – In 2019, the European Union generously provided EUR 500,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Mauritania, enabling vital humanitarian air services to continue in the country.

The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, is the backbone of humanitarian activities and interventions, providing crucial humanitarian access where it would otherwise not be possible. Cost-efficient and reliable, it supports humanitarian responders by enabling organizations to rapidly deploy goods and staff across the country. It also provides medical and security evacuations when needed.

“We are very grateful to the European Union for their continued support - it helped us maintain this critical service to the humanitarian community in Mauritania. Their support was crucial in helping us avoid a break in air services,” said Nacer Benalleg WFP Country Director and Representative in Mauritania.

In 2019, UNHAS was faced with significant funding shortfalls in Mauritania that threatened the continuation of the service. Generous financial support, including the EU’s, enabled the service to stay afloat and transport vital aid and 1,550 humanitarian workers to three destinations in Mauritania.

In Mauritania, malnutrition rates exceed emergency thresholds in 21 districts, while the food security situation in the country has worsened due to the volatile security situation that persists across the Sahel region. Some 57,000 Malian refugees have sought refuge in the east of the country, where nearly 40 percent of the population is affected by food insecurity. The distances across the country are vast and road conditions poor, underscoring the need for UNHAS to continue providing safe, efficient and cost-effective passenger and cargo air transport for the humanitarian community.

#                                  #                                  #

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, natural disasters and the impact of climate change.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media


European Union (Member Organization) Mauritania Funding Logistics and delivery networks


For more information please contact (email address:

Cathy Diop, WFP/Nouakchott
Mob. +222 4278 6130

Melissa Marques, WFP/Nouakchott
Mob. +222 4278 6527