EU launches humanitarian airlift to Central African Republic

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The European Union has officially launched its humanitarian airlift to the Central African Republic, a landlocked country even more isolated by the closure of airspace. A first flight was made on Friday 8 May with 70 aid workers on board and equipment to respond to the coronavirus epidemic (49 new cases in the last 24 hours, for a total of 143). Targeted aid for a country already experiencing a major humanitarian crisis (1/4 of the population is displaced, more than half of the population requires humanitarian aid).

Report from our correspondent in Bangui, Charlotte cosset

On the tarmac, President Touadéra came to welcome the European Commissioner. This is the first flight in a project that will last between three and six months to help fight the coronavirus.

Janez Lenarcic explains the choice of CAR: “ Humanitarian aid is made more complex precisely when this assistance is most needed. With this humanitarian airlift, the European Union wants to respond to these challenges and facilitate the delivery of the aid and humanitarian personnel necessary in the current context of the pandemic. Why the Central African Republic? The Covid-19 crisis risks worsening humanitarian needs in all sectors. When the health system is already weak. “

The Central African Republic received a first aid from the Ali Baba Chinese Foundation, but has few things. No respirator, only one month of advance coronavirus testing. More than welcome support for the Minister of Health, Pierre Somse. ” What I expect is already the strengthening of our capacities in material, equipment and inputs and through the humanitarians with whom we collaborate very closely so that this allows them to intervene with the communities. And therefore especially in the field of screening, isolation of patient care and monitoring. “

In this first arrival: tests for the coronavirus, gloves, masks, drugs, etc. In all, 40 tonnes of equipment should be delivered to CAR. In addition, a humanitarian airlift which will also concern Burkina Faso, Niger and Cameroon.

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