Liege Airport has been selected by the United Nations‘ World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Food Programme (WFP) for moving critical supplies across the world.
A first WFP-contracted cargo flight (Cygnus Air Boeing 757 registered EC-NHF on flight WT551 to Gran Canaria, Ouagadougou and Accra) departed the newly-established Global Humanitarian Response Hub in Liège, Belgium, on Thursday, carrying 16 tonnes of medical supplies and personal protective equipment on behalf of UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) destined for Burkina Faso and Ghana. Some of this cargo will then be moved to its final destination in the Republic of Congo.
“The window of opportunity to surge medical and humanitarian equipment into Africa to curb the pandemic is closing fast,” said Amer Daoudi, WFP’s Covid-19 response director. “Our global logistics support system is up-and-running, and this delivery marks the first of many cargo shipments we will fly to all corners of the globe,” he added.
While this flight is the first from the new hub in Liège, WFP has dispatched more than 300 tonnes of humanitarian and medical cargo to 89 countries, since late January, supporting governments and health partners in their response to Covid-19. These shipments include masks, gloves, ventilators, testing kits and thermometers.
Global Humanitarian Response Hubs located close to where medical supplies are manufactured in Liège, Dubai, and China will link to regional hubs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malaysia, Panama, Dubai, and South Africa, where a fleet of smaller aircraft will be on standby to move cargo and personnel into priority countries.
WFP’s logistics network will bridge the gap in essential services, ensuring humanitarian and health responders on the frontlines of the pandemic can stay and deliver lifesaving assistance.
“To put it simply – without our logistics support, the response to Covid-19 in the world’s most fragile settings would stutter to a halt, leaving millions at risk,” Daoudi added.
Source: The STAT Trade Times