On July 23, 2020, the Ambassador of the European Union, Sónia Neto, together with the High Commissioner for the Fight against COVID-19, Dr. Magda Robalo, the Ambassador of Portugal, António Alves de Carvalho, the Ambassador of France, Jean-Louis Zoël and the Spanish Chargé d'affaires a.i., Juan Manuel Lopez Urdiales, will be present at the arrival in Bissau of the first of four European Union Humanitarian Air Bridge Flights organised by Portugal. These flights will carry on board more than 45 tons of medical supplies, worth more than EUR 2 million. The cargo includes medicine, as well as laboratory and personal protection equipment for health professionals, to support Guinea-Bissau's response to COVID-19 in providing the population with better healthcare.
The European Union Humanitarian Air Bridge
The European Union finances the entire transport costs of this operation, with Portugal coordinating not only the logistics, but also the collection of donations from various partners, namely UNDP and other United Nations Agencies, the World Bank, Foundations and NGOs of Portugal, Spain and Italy, who have joined forces to address and overcome the humanitarian and health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guinea-Bissau. The European Union and its Member States are convinced that multilateralism is the right response to surmount the magnitude of the challenges of COVID-19. Our Union is our strength.
Concrete responses to the country's urgent medical needs
These Air Bridge flights meet the call of the Health Emergency Operations Centre (COES) to implement its contingency plan and support crisis management, which already has benefitted from EUR 1.3 million of EU contribution, made available through the World Health Organisation (WHO). This new wave of humanitarian aid addresses the country's immediate health needs in the face not only of the coronavirus, but also of other diseases that need urgent attention during this pandemic period, notably Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV.
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Link to the press release.