EU continues to guarantee the WFP humanitarian air passenger and cargo service between TL-Kuala Lumpur

EU continues to guarantee the WFP humanitarian air passenger and cargo service between TL-Kuala Lumpur

DILI, 10 of march 2021 (TATOLI)- The European Union, through the WHO Country Office in Timor-Leste has made available 150,000 USD to the World Food Programme (WFP) to enable it to continue humanitarian air passenger and cargo services between Dili, Timor-Leste and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

EU support will be provided through the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Timor-Leste. EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste Andrew Jacobs said that The Europe’s grant to WFP aims to support this aviation service.

 “The humanitarian flight linking Dili to Kuala Lumpur is able to continue, to bring in medical aid and to transport passengers.  This air link is particularly important at this time of a growth of COVID-19 cases in Timor-Leste” said H.E EU Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Andrew Jacobs.

The funding support extended to WFP for the maintenance of the aviation services is drawn from a USD 2.4 million grant provided to the WHO in Timor-Leste by the EU to support the COVID-19 response and to strengthen of health systems in the country.

 WHO Representative Arvind Mathur also said that WFP’s aviation service was crucial in the country’s response to covid-19. “Like many others, WHO has benefited from it, it has allowed us to bring medical supplies and people who have been instrumental in responding to covid-19. We are pleased that, with the support of the EU, we are able to extend this much-needed funding to WFP,” said Arvind Mathur.

It is recalled that Timor-Leste closed its borders in the wake of the global spread of the of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Since then, all commercial air services have remained suspended to protect the country from the further propagation of COVID-19.

“During this time, the WFP aviation services have been an important air bridge for the delivery of essential medical supplies for the COVID-19 response, and have provided critical air passenger transport, including for experts working to support the Timorese Government’s efforts to contain the virus,” Mr Jacob said.

Since June 2020, WFP has operated 19 charter flights, transporting 1,354 passengers and 14.5 metric tonnes of medical and essential supplies to and from Timor-Leste. As many as 83 organisations, including the Government of Timor-Leste and the country’s diplomatic corps, have benefitted from the service.

The EU-WHO funds help WFP ensure the continuity and probable higher frequency of the aviation services between Dili-Kuala Lumpur till August 2021.

“Thanks to this contribution, WFP can continue this vital air service in support of the people of Timor-Leste,” said Mr Dageng Liu, WFP Representative in Timor-Leste.


Journalist: Nelia Borges

Editor: Rafael Belo


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