Coronavirus global response: 2 EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to South Sudan
Today, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight arrived in Juba, as part of the European support to vulnerable countries during the coronavirus pandemic. The flight carried on board humanitarian supplies and medical equipment needed to support the national response to the pandemic. Another flight will follow in the coming days, bringing the total amount of cargo transported to around 90 tonnes. This makes it one of the largest EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations since its launch.
“The EU continues to stand by the people in need in South Sudan, especially in the current worldwide health crisis. Tackling the pandemic globally is in the interest of all. The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge Flights deliver medical equipment and other supplies to protect healthcare and frontline humanitarian aid workers. In order to ensure that aid continues to reach those most in need, it is essential that humanitarian workers have full and safe access to do their lifesaving job,” said Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EU and its Member States, in a Team Europe approach, are mobilising a total of €49.1 million for South Sudan. This funding helps to strengthen the health system, support the economy and reinforce social support systems in the country.
To help the most vulnerable in South Sudan, in 2020, the European Commission is mobilising a total of €42.5 million in humanitarian assistance. €9 million from this funding is helping to address the effects of the desert locust plague on local communities. More than €6 million is the EU humanitarian contribution to the Team Europe package and is helping humanitarian organisations in South Sudan scale up vulnerable people’s access to health services and water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as the supply of essential protective equipment for health workers.
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to Juba are being operated jointly by the EU, Italy and France and in coordination with the South Sudanese authorities. The flights are entirely funded by the EU, whereas the cargo belongs to the aid organisations using the flight, coordinated by the Réseau Logistique Humanitaire – a European humanitarian organisations’ network.
Despite recent progress in the implementation of the peace deal, humanitarian needs remain high in South Sudan with 1.6 million people internally displaced and some 7.4 million in need of emergency assistance. Floods, desert locust swarms, resurging violence, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic put further pressure on humanitarian needs in the country.
EU humanitarian aid in South Sudan
EU-funded humanitarian projects in South Sudan are addressing the extreme food and nutrition needs by providing life-saving food assistance, nutritious supplies and fast-growing crop seeds to the most vulnerable. Other priorities include the provision of basic health care in hard-to-reach areas and protection assistance for the most vulnerable, especially women and children. In the current pandemic context, the EU’s humanitarian partners are scaling up vulnerable people’s access to health, water, sanitation and hygiene and providing essential protective equipment for health workers and risk communication.
Factsheets: South Sudan