UN air service appeals for funding in 2010

13:34, January 14, 2010      

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The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) appealed for funding in 2010 on Wednesday in Geneva.

Managed by the World Food Program (WFP), the airline relies on independent financing and is facing an 85 million U.S. dollar shortfall. It's current budget of 50 million dollars will last forone to eight months, depending on the project.

During a press conference in Geneva, Pierre Carasse, UNHAS aviation chief said that much of the cost stems from security and maintenance.

"Runway? There is no runway. Air traffic control? There is no air traffic control. Fire control? There is no fire control," Carasse said, adding, "If you are not at the top in terms of maintenance, you fail."

If it meets its financial goal of 138 million dollars, the air service hopes to transport more than 300,000 passengers and 10,000metric tons of cargo using 58 aircraft in 2010.

Active since 2001, UNHAS operated in fourteen countries in 2009,among them Afghanistan and the Sudan.

Source: Xinhua
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