Channel 1 Los Angeles
In an open letter that appeared on Sunday in The Guardian (UK), the heads of UN agencies, including among others, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), along with the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA), said cancelled flights and disrupted supply routes have prompted the appeal to enable a rapid scale-up of staff and supplies to places hardest hit by the virus.
Against the backdrop that developing countries, with the least ability to contain the coronavirus, could become repositories for the disease and may drive new COVID-19 waves around the world, the UN agency heads warned that without these facilities, “the global response could stutter to a halt”.
Explaining that humanitarian agencies work in places that are “potentially huge reservoirs where it is hard to manage the virus,” Mr. Lowcock maintained that “nobody is going to be safe, until everyone is safe”.
“This isn’t just about compassion and empathy it’s about hard self-interest”.
WFP needs a massive expansion of its transport and logistics services, including its UN Humanitarian Air Service, which is available to all aid professionals.
The intention is to utilize two active commercial air transport centres in Europe to charter flights for moving humanitarian staff to crisis areas, including the Middle East and Africa. It also aims to transport the provision of seven global field hospitals dedicated to treating humanitarian workers who become infected with the disease during their work.