Feature, Freight News, Air, COVID-19 Noticeboard

Brussels sets up lifeline to Africa

[ May 12, 2020   //   ]

The European Commission has set up an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to transport humanitarian workers and emergency supplies for the coronavirus response to critical areas of the world.

The first EU flight, operated in cooperation with France departed from Lyon on 8 May transporting 13 tonnes of cargo and around 60 humanitarian workers from various NGOs. Two subsequent humanitarian cargo flights were due to follow to transport a further 27 tonnes of humanitarian supplies. On their return leg, the Air Bridge flights will repatriate EU citizens and other passengers from the Central African Republic.

More EU humanitarian flights are being scheduled for the coming weeks, prioritising African countries where the pandemic has the potential to worsen existing humanitarian crises.

The European Commission finances 100% of the transport costs, whereas the EU partners remain responsible for the procurement of the humanitarian material. It draws on contributions from all EU institutions and combines the resources mobilised by EU Member States and financial institutions, to address the humanitarian, health, and other consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “Leaving any area of the world unprotected today leaves us all unprotected tomorrow. As part of our global response, the EU will open a dedicated Humanitarian Air Bridge to get aid into areas which lack supplies due to the difficulties of global transit. This can be a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable communities worldwide.”