WFP launches humanitarian flight in Myanmar over COVID-19 response

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Aid workers of World Food Program (WFP) are boarding the plane at Yangon airport for Rakhine State on 25 October 2020.  Photo: Supplied

The World Food Program (WFP) launched of humanitarian flight in Myanmar to provide logistics support for COVID-19 response on Saturday.
A United Nations chartered flight, operated by the World Food Programme (WFP), departed from Yangon on Saturday transporting medical supplies and front-line aid workers to support the COVID-19 response and humanitarian operations in Rakhine State.
WFP arranged this humanitarian flight because domestic commercial air services have been temporarily suspended in Myanmar in September, as part of the Government’s efforts to control COVID-19 transmissions. Moreover, access by road and sea between Yangon and Sittway is currently not practically feasible. “WFP is proud to organize these flights and support the logistics and common services response of the humanitarian community in Myanmar,” said Mr Stephen Anderson, Representative and Country Director of WFP in Myanmar. “We plan to arrange additional flights as needed to facilitate the movement of critical staff providing front-line assistance to the COVID-19 response and humanitarian operations.”
With support from the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS), passengers underwent COVID-19 testing prior to their travel and are required to strictly adhere to MoHS and other government measures related to air travel and quarantine.
The flight was made possible thanks to funding support from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), and facilitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and Sports, the Department of Civil Aviation and other partners.
Meanwhile, WFP’s flights connecting Yangon, Vientiane and Kuala Lumpur, which commenced in early May due to the temporary suspension of international commercial flights, continue to operate on a weekly basis, bringing into Myanmar medical supplies and aid workers. WFP’s food assistance, as part of its COVID-19 response, also remains ongoing at quarantine and treatment centers and border gates in various parts of the country. The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. —GNLM

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