The first of four EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights, in a joint effort between the European Union and Portugal, has landed in Guinea-Bissau with 45 tonnes of medical equipment and supplies on board. The cargo includes medicines as well as laboratory and personal protective equipment for medical staff to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The help comes as Guinea-Bissau has recorded the highest number of confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants in West Africa. The equipment, sent by various Portuguese institutions and international organizations, will be helping a number of health facilities in Guinea-Bissau in their coronavirus prevention and control measures. Other medical supplies are intended to support the fight against other epidemics, such as malaria and tuberculosis.
“We need to have a global approach to tackle coronavirus. The EU’s Humanitarian Air Bridge flights is helping support Guinea-Bissau’s health system in this critical time. The medical equipment being transported is urgently needed to help frontline health workers,” said Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about huge logistical challenges for the delivery of vital assistance, be it humanitarian aid or medical supplies and equipment. Since the beginning of May, more than 30 EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights carrying over 650 tonnes of cargo, have been dispatched to critical areas where transport restrictions were creating gaps in medical supplies.
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights are fully funded by the European Union. They are operated in co-ordination with member states and organizations sending material, and in co-operation with the receiving country.