News BlogCentral Southern AfricaHumanitarian aid

First flights of the EU Humanitarian Bridge. Destination Bangui

(B2) That's it, humanitarian equipment and personnel are starting to arrive on the ground again. On Friday (May 8), the first plane from the European Union's humanitarian bridge landed in Bangui, in the Central African Republic. Two other flights are planned for Tuesday May 12 and Wednesday May 13

Commissioner Janez Lenarcic for Crisis Management, in Lyon, before the first flight of the EU humanitarian bridge to Bangui, Central African Republic (credit: European Commission)

Between halted international air traffic and closed borders, the pandemic has cut off traditional supply chains used by NGOs and international organizations. To the detriment of already most vulnerable populations. The airlift organized and financed by the European Union is intended to be the solution, to provide humanitarian equipment where it is needed.

40 tonnes of humanitarian cargo

A total of 40 tonnes of humanitarian supplies will reach Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic by Thursday morning (May 14). Departing from Lyon, France, the first flight had 13 tons of equipment on board. The rest will be shared between the next two planes, Tuesday (May 12) and Wednesday (May 13). 60 humanitarian workers were also able to land in the Central African Republic on Friday (May 8).

Coupled with a repatriation effort

In the interest of efficiency, the European Union took advantage of the return flight last Friday to repatriate Europeans. 144 people returned from Bangui.

Quarantine for personnel and equipment

Once they arrived in Bangui, the humanitarian workers were quarantined. The equipment is kept in a warehouse reserved for this purpose. The objective: to avoid possible coronavirus contamination through deliveries.

Focus on Africa

Around thirty flights are expected to take place over the next six months, worldwide. This figure is likely to change depending on the evolution of the crisis. The priority will be “ granted to African countries where the pandemic is likely to worsen the many existing humanitarian crises “, specifies the European Commission.

(Aurelie Pugnet)

Download the press release

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