VOS Apollo is the WFP-charted vessel used to facilitate access to passengers transport between Aden - Djibouti
Due to the current inaccessibility of the city of Aden, Yemen, via air, the Logistics Cluster is coordinating and facilitating access to passenger transport via sea on a WFP-chartered vessel. The objective of this service provided on a free-to-user basis, is to enable all humanitarian responding organisations to facilitate the passenger sea transport of UN & INGO staff; the vessel also serves as an emergency rescue and evacuation in addition to urgently required humanitarian assessment missions endorsed and approved by the Humanitarian Country Team.
As of May 2016, a regular schedule and booking system have been established with weekly rotations Djibouti – Aden – Djibouti. A total of 18 voyages have been conducted from May to August, carrying a total of 217 passengers. Passenger movement and booking requests have increased during the month of August, and it is expected to augment from August onward. This service is indeed highly and considered a very useful service that represents the best possible way to enter Aden, especially due to the closure of the airport because of the prevailing security situation.
According to passengers from OCHA, “without it, it wouldn’t have been possible to carry out coordination and management duties” and it characterises a key factor for an increased and sustained humanitarian response as well as an enabling element for crucial evacuation purposes. Among the main reasons of such a positive feedback there are also the good services provided on board and the supportive crew.
Thus, the Logistics Cluster liaises with humanitarian organizations and the good coordination between the passengers and the cooperative and timely responding Logistics Cluster focal points (Information Management Officer and Cluster Coordinator) make this service even more valuable and highly adaptable to passengers’ needs. All this, wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Logistics Cluster donors such as OCHA Cerf, ECHO and OFDA.