Each day ‘a new adventure’ for UN humanitarian air service worker  

2 years ago 598

Despite having been “around craft for truthful long” due to her idiosyncratic and household history, Rasha admits that she still gets a “heart flutter” every she watches a plane take to the skies. 

“It ne'er gets mean being here”, she said. 

Rasha's occupation  mixes her passionateness  for aviation, picked up   from her mother, with her emotion  of humanitarian work.

Like mother, similar daughter 

Early past year, Rasha joined the World Food Programme’s (WFP) UNHAS team arsenic an Aviation Assistant at Qamishli airdrome successful Syria’s northeast. Prior to that, she’d worked successful commercialized aviation for 7 years. 

The young woman’s passion for airports goes backmost to puerility days.  

“My parent served astatine the aforesaid airdrome for 35 years. I vividly retrieve her wearing her metallic azygous with a achromatic blouse and a silky maroon scarf neatly tied astir her neck”, she recalled. 

But what fascinated Rasha astir was her mother's devotion.  

“Qamishli is not a luxurious airdrome arsenic it lacks comfortableness and catering facilities, truthful it tin beryllium unsmooth to miss your formation and have to spend the nighttime here. My parent assisted everyone she encountered unconditionally and to the champion she could, and I wanted to beryllium her 1 day”, she said. 

Safer, quicker journey 

Over years of situation successful Syria, conflict lines have shifted dramatically, rendering roads linking Damascus to the 2 bluish governorates of Qamishli and Aleppo dangerous to use.  

The skies above became the astir viable mode for UN unit and humanitarian workers to question between the capital and the country’s north.  

And with home airlines further disrupted by the COVID pandemic, the 2020 launch of UNHAS in Syria has provided a crucial connection between staff and the people it serves – turning a gruelling 16-hour drive into a one-hour flight.  

If it wasn’t for UNHAS, humanitarian unit would person faced galore challenges successful accessing families successful need”, Rasha said. 

Today, UNHAS successful Syria serves 39 different humanitarian organizations, not just UN agencies.  

Even with COVID-19 precautions strictly followed, the hose work transports an mean of 350 passengers connected its flights betwixt Damascus, Aleppo and Qamishli. 

Humanitarian needs crossed Syria reached unprecedented levels last twelvemonth making it more important than ever for staff to rapidly and safely scope those successful urgent request of assistance. 

Rasha works   intimately  with colleagues visiting from Damascus.

WFP/Manal Alkalaji

Rasha works intimately with colleagues visiting from Damascus.

‘Humanitarian core’ 

At first, Rasha was astir impressed by the airline’s precocious standards, subject and punctuality, but past she recovered a deeper meaning to it. 

“One day, my passengers were each onboard for a formation to Damascus and we were astir to adjacent the gross erstwhile a antheral from different humanitarian organisation rushed successful with his girl who was successful request of urgent aesculapian evacuation to Damascus”, she recounted.  

When Rasha contacted UNHAS management, she was instantly advised to hold the formation until the antheral had finalized his indispensable documents. 

“My supervisor told me: ‘Our beingness is to service these people, truthful our gates can’t beryllium unopen earlier them.’ That was the infinitesimal when I realized the humanitarian halfway of my enactment and it profoundly moved me”, said the unit member. 

United in delivering 

In summation to people, UNHAS also flies lifesaving aesculapian assistance.  

In 2021 the hose transported captious aesculapian equipment, including COVID-19 vaccines and mobility immunodeficiency for radical with disabilities

“It was acknowledgment to UNHAS that UN unit successful Qamishli and their dependents were vaccinated, arsenic the vaccines and specialized aesculapian unit had to beryllium transported each the mode from Damascus”, Rasha said proudly. 

With the onset of winter, she knows that her occupation volition beryllium much challenging for months to come but recognizes the interaction of her enactment each time arsenic colleagues and families are present person unneurotic than ever before. 

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