Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva


Geneva , 24/04/2020 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 200427_17


1. What is the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge ?

The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge (EU HAB) is an integrated package of services to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to third countries in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. It supports the delivery of COVID-19 related equipment, sustains the flow of humanitarian supplies, and facilitates the movement of humanitarian staff.

It offers to Member States dedicated air transport capacity to support the immediate logistical needs of humanitarian actors involved in the struggle against the pandemic.

Conceived as a temporary initiative for 3 to 6 months, it acts in complementarity with the logistical services included in the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

2. How does it work?

  • Upon the request from Member States or at the initiative of the European Commission, the EU HAB provides air transport facility from and to the proposed site of departure and arrival.
  • It supports transportation of humanitarian supplies and staff, both toward and from third countries, and creates the best synergies with ongoing repatriation and rotation flights.
  • The EU HAB has a worldwide coverage focussing on the most pressing humanitarian operational bottlenecks. It includes a strong but not exclusive focus on Africa.
  • All humanitarian actors selected by a Member State with the support of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission (DG ECHO) or by DG ECHO, from national administrations, the civil society or UN Agencies can benefit from the facility.
  • Member States and DG ECHO will ensure with the actors involved in the humanitarian action the selection and coordination of the provision of the cargo, the control of its quality, in particular regarding COVID-19 related equipment. They will together be responsible to inform the authorities in the recipient country and to facilitate the customs formalities for the cargo to be shipped.
  • The relevant EU Delegations in third countries will support facilitating the necessary demarches for a smooth arrival and departure of planes.
  • The EU HAB will not support the procurement of humanitarian material, which will remain under the responsibility of EU partners.
  • Actions will be implemented in conformity with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and the civilian nature of humanitarian operations. A specific attention has to be paid to make certain that any transport operated under the facility is exempt from COVID-19 cases.
  • Endowed with EUR 10 million, the initiative is expected to cover up to 30 key fly routes. The EU HAB will cover 100% of transport costs.
  • Once a flight is under preparation, Member States will be invited to specify the details of their request to DG ECHO using an established “EU HAB” Request Order.

3. How to contact us?

The Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations has set up a dedicated operational Task Force regrouping its well-established capacities to assist humanitarian partners and Member States. Request for information, follow-up or to start operational request can be addressed at the following mail address:

Editorial Sections: