Rest of Asia

UN humanitarian flights resume to Afghanistan

Filed on September 3, 2021

(Reuters file)

UN Humanitarian Air Service links Islamabad with Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar

The United Nations has resumed humanitarian flights to northern and southern Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, a spokesman said on Thursday.

The UN Humanitarian Air Service is now operating flights “to enable 160 humanitarian organisations to continue their life-saving activities in Afghanistan’s provinces,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

The flights link the Pakistani capital Islamabad with the city Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan and with Kandahar in the south. Three flights have already landed in Mazar-e-Sharif since August 29. The UN Humanitarian Air Service is operated by the World Food Program.

Dujarric said that efforts are being made to launch more flights and to more destinations.

“From 2002 to 2021, the UN Humanitarian Air Service in Afghanistan served more than 20 destinations in the country,” Dujarric said. “It will seek to return to these locations once security and funding permits.”

Dujarric added that officials were working to establish a cargo airbridge to transport non-food items, such as medical and other emergency supplies.

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