London — The European Union has created an air bridge to Pemba, capital of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, to deliver life saving aid to victims of islamist terrorism.
The first EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight, co-organised with Italy and Portugal, will arrive in Pemba on Saturday, carrying 15 tonnes of life-saving cargo.
According to Janez Lenarcic, the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, "the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. We are sending a new EU funded Humanitarian Air Bridge flight to get vital aid to this hard to reach part of the country".
He added, "I thank Italy and Portugal for providing the medical equipment and humanitarian cargo of the flight".
Two more flights carrying additional humanitarian aid are expected to depart from Brindisi in southern Italy in the coming days.
So far this year the EU has donated over 17 million Euros (about 20 million US dollars) in humanitarian aid for Mozambique, mainly to assist those who have been displaced from their homes by terrorism.
A statement from the EU noted that its "aid helps to ease the suffering of the affected population including those internally displaced and the host communities, and to provide education for children, while also better preparing communities to deal with natural disasters".
The EU warns that the fragile humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado "continues to worsen. An escalation of violence has internally displaced more than 700,000 people. At least 1.3 million people are estimated to require immediate humanitarian assistance and protection in Cabo Delgado and in neighbouring provinces of Niassa and Nampula".
In 2020, when many countries restricted traffic or closed their borders due to the coronavirus pandemic, the EU Humanitarian Air Bridge facilitated 67 flights to 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. More than 1,150 tonnes of vital medical and humanitarian equipment and nearly 1,700 medical and humanitarian staff and other passengers were transported.
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