EU organizes airlift operation to west Africa in fight against Ebola

October 8, 2014 6:48 am 

BRUSSELS, Oct. 8 — The European Union (EU) will organize airlift operation to the Ebola-hit west Africa, with the first cargo plane to take off on Friday.

According to a press release issued by the European Commission here on Tuesday, about 1 million euros (1.26 million U.S. dollars) EU funding will be allocated to UNICEF, enabling three Boeing 747 cargo planes to transport vital material to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The first plane will take off on Friday, carrying 100 metric tons of emergency equipment from Amsterdam to Freetown, Sierra Leone. The supplies and equipment include personal protection equipment, including masks and gloves, as well as essential medicines and hygiene supplies.

Another 3 million euros will help in the setting up of a medical evacuation system that will enable international workers in west Africa diagnosed with the Ebola virus disease to be evacuated in less than 48 hours by plane to hospitals within Europe that are equipped to deal with the disease.

This initiative is funded from 30 million euros in humanitarian aid announced by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso last month during a high-level meeting in response to the Ebola outbreak.

The European Commission has been scaling up its response to the epidemic since March and has so far pledged 180 million euros to help the countries affected by the Ebola virus. (1 euro = 1.26 U.S. dollars). (PNA/Xinhua)



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