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#EbolaResponse: Emergency health equipment flown to Guinea under UNICEF-EU partnership

Guinea airlift is third to be funded through EU €1 million donation to Ebola-stricken countries

BRUSSELS/ZARAGOZA, Guinea Conakry, 29 October 2014 – A cargo plane transporting 14 ambulance cars took off today from Zaragoza airport in Spain to Guinea Conakry, part of UNICEF’s efforts to send in life-saving health equipment to the Ebola-affected country. This is the third cargo airlift funded by a €1 million contribution from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid budget.

“Bringing emergency supplies into the Ebola-affected countries is vital to stop the epidemic. The response capacity remains insufficient even today. We need more actions like today's joint airlift with UNICEF to dramatically ramp up the response and prevent Ebola from spreading further in Guinea and beyond,” said Cyprien Fabre, Head of the West Africa office of the European Commission´s aid department. “With more international partners stepping up to the plate and the population increasingly engaged, we hope to control the outbreak in the coming months. But we cannot let our guard down until the last case of Ebola has been found and treated.”

The first EU-funded plane, which left on 10 October from Amsterdam to Freetown, Sierra Leone, carried vaccines, health supplies and protective equipment, while the second cargo plane that took off from Luxembourg to Monrovia, Liberia, on 27 October flew in emergency therapeutic food items and health equipment.

Funded by the World Bank and the West Africa Health Organization, the ambulances will be used by the Ministry of Health in Conakry to transport suspected cases of Ebola to treatment facilities both in the capital and within the country, in forest areas. People in need of medical attention, including those exhibiting Ebola symptoms, have been using regular taxis to reach hospitals, posing risks of infection for other passengers.

The airlifted cargo also includes therapeutic food and protective and sanitary equipment, such as gloves and water tanks with a total cargo value of over € 500,000.

“From the onset, timely delivery of essential supplies – one of our largest airlift operations so far – has been a key part of our response to the Ebola crisis,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa. “These supplies help to protect health teams on the ground and save lives every day.”

Just last month, UNICEF procured and delivered 28 new, all-terrain vehicles to the Guinea Ministry of Health (worth $880,000), also with World Bank Group financing.

To date, UNICEF has flown in 1,000 metric tons of supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in what is now one of the largest airlift operations of Ebola supplies.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

About the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
The European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world. The Commission's assistance relies on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The European Commission is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2013 alone, it provided almost €100 million for UNICEF projects to help children.

To know more about the EU-UNICEF Partnership for Children visit www.unicef.org/eu/

For more information, please contact:
David Sharrock, ECHO Brussels, +32 2 296 89 09, david.sharrock@ec.europa.eu
Timothy La Rose, UNICEF Guinea Conakry, +224 622 350 251, tlarose@unicef.org
Diana Valcárcel Silvela, UNICEF Spain, +34 689 086 329, dvalcarcel@unicef.es
Rebekka Opfermann, UNICEF Brussels, +32 2 5050 106, ropfermann@unicef.org
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1917 209 1804, nmekki@unicef.org

UNICEF Guinea is available on;
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Facebook French: http://facebook.com/unicefguinee
Flickr : http://flickr.com/unicefguinea
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Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/1/102735246044286104058/
Vine : http://vine.co/unicefguinea


 

 

 

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