European Covid-19 aid arrives in Sudan
The first flight of the European Humanitarian Air Bridge to support Sudan to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Khartoum earlier this week.
The arrival of the Boeing 747 was attended by a Sudanese government delegation led by Undersecretary Mohamed El Shabik of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Sudan consists of two flights and is the single largest operation of the European global Air Bridge initiative. The second flight, bringing in cargo and humanitarian aid workers, is scheduled to arrive in Sudan on 24 June.
The flight carried some 90 tons of cargo. It contained medical equipment, vaccines, water purifiers, medical kits, medicine, and medical staff protective equipment.
All the equipment will be distributed and used by the international organisations Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), United Nations Population Fund (Unfpa), United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and International Medical Corps (IMC), in coordination and cooperation with the federal and local health authorities of Sudan.
Ambassador Robert van den Dool, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, told the press that “the launching of the European Humanitarian Air Bridge to Sudan is a very tangible illustration of how the European Union is supporting Sudan to fight Covid-19. This is one of the largest humanitarian cargo planes which has landed in Khartoum Airport since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. We have been supporting the Sudanese government through a partnership with World Health Organisation on its Covid-19 response until now, and we plan to further strengthen this partnership.”
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations are part of the EU's global response to the coronavirus pandemic. Europe’s support to the African continent in the fight against Covid-19 amounts to €3.25 billion. According to the EU “this reaffirms that the EU is the leading partner of African countries”. The EU funding is helping countries to strengthen their health systems, support their economies in these challenging times, train health staff and reinforce social support systems.
Upon request from the North Darfur state Ministry of Health, the UN peackeeping mission in Darfur (Unamid) donated a minibus to the state health authorities on 10 June. The minibus will facilitate the transportation of medical and public health personnel. Unamid also made its air assets available to the North Darfur states authorities, in order to facilitate the transportation of state officials to Sortony, North Darfur, as part of an ongoing assessment of Covid19 in camps for the displaced. On behalf of the state authorities, Unamid transported samples from El Fasher to the national laboratory in Nyala, South Darfur.
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