(L to R): French Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann, Ambassador Robert van den dool, EU Head of Delegation and Swedish Ambassador Hans Henric Lundqvist at Khartoum Airport. Photo by: Ala Kheir
EU Air Bridge to Sudan
The ambassadors of France, Sweden and the European Union welcomed the first flight of the European Humanitarian Air Bridge to support Sudan to tackle the impact of the COVID 19. The event was attended on the Sudanese side by a government delegation led by Undersecretary Mr Mohamed Elshabik of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development as well as colleagues from the Ministry of Health and Foreign Affairs.
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 next.
At the event tonight, 10 June, a European Boeing 747 carrying some 90 tons of cargo touched down at Khartoum International Airport. The cargo 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 organizations of 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.
Mr Mohamed Elshabik, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development thanked on behalf of the government and people of the Sudan the European Union, Sweden and France for their generous support and commitment to helping Sudan to fight the COVID 19.
Ambassador Robert van den Dool, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, told the press “the launching of the European Humanitarian Air Bridge to Sudan is a very tangible illustration of how the European Union is supporting Sudan on fighting 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 WHO on the COVID 19 response until now and we plan to further strengthen this partnership. We are proud to help organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA, MSF and IMC to assist and accelerate their humanitarian work to save lives and ease the suffering of vulnerable people, especially those in the remote states and regions of Sudan.”
Thanks to Sweden, France and the EU’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid
Ambassador Van den Dool thanked wholeheartedly Sweden for taking the lead and working with EU humanitarian colleagues in the facilitation and coordination of this Humanitarian Air Bridge with the Sudanese authorities. He also commended France for all their efforts and support in making this important Air Bridge possible. Finally, he stated this unique Air Bridge would not have been possible without the support of the EU’s Humanitarian Aid office in Khartoum.
Team Europe support
Being a part of the Team Europe approach, the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations are part of the EU's global response to the coronavirus pandemic. Team Europe's support to the whole African continent in the fight against COVID 19 amounts to €3.25 billion, reaffirming that the EU is the leading partner of African countries. This funding is helping countries strengthen their health systems, support their economies in these challenging times, train health staff and reinforce social support systems.
Khartoum, 10th June 2020.