ACCRA – A regional humanitarian response hub in Ghana, established by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to facilitate COVID-19 response efforts is now fully operational, with the first flights taking off on 14 May. The Accra regional hub is part of a global hub-and-spokes system of air links for dispatching essential medical and humanitarian cargo and transporting health workers to the front lines of the pandemic.
Accra, which was already vital for the dispatching of critical supplies to countries in west and central Africa, is launching humanitarian response flights to Nigeria, Chad, Mali, the Central African Republic, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, enabling health and humanitarian personnel to rapidly reach areas where they are most needed in a context of limited commercial transport and travel restrictions.
“WFP is extremely grateful to the Government and people of Ghana for hosting the regional cargo and passenger aviation hub which is needed to sustain humanitarian operations that millions of vulnerable people across Africa are depending on during this pandemic,” said Rukia Yacoub, WFP Representative and Country Director in Ghana.
This is the second time in recent years that Ghana is supporting global efforts to address health crises in Africa. In 2014, Accra was the headquarters of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which was vital to curbing the deadly virus outbreak.
UNMEER was hosted in the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) located at the Kotoka International Airport, the same facility which is hosting the regional cargo and passenger aviation hub for the COVID-19 response.
The hub mainly serves United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and, is operated under stringent measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
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, disasters and the impact of climate change.