EU Humanitarian Air Bridge delivers medical aid to Afghanistan
Last Friday, 2 October, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flight delivered over 25 metric tonnes of life-saving medical cargo to Kabul to address the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Due to the ongoing conflict and the recent drought, up to half of Afghanistan's population is dependent on humanitarian assistance. In response, this EU-funded airbridge flight enables humanitarian organisations to deliver critical health and nutrition items to those in need.
The life-saving cargo consists of medical equipment, including COVID-19 and trauma care kits, provided by UNICEF, Save the Children, and the World Health Organization. This is the second EU-funded airbridge flight landing in Kabul this week. The first flight arrived on Wednesday, 29 September, delivering over 32 metric tonnes of surgical equipment and medical supplies that are critical in ensuring the continued provision of primary and life-saving medical assistance in Afghanistan.
The ongoing conflict and insecurity, together with the recent drought continue to cause large-scale suffering and displacement in Afghanistan and the region. Despite the challenges posed by the withdrawal of international troops and the Taliban takeover, the EU continues to provide life-saving assistance for the Afghan people in need.
EU humanitarian aid focuses on health care, nutritional support, cash and protection assistance, including areas not reached by government structures. In 2021, the EU has committed to making available over €300 million in humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people in need, in the country and the broader region. The EU has funded humanitarian operations in Afghanistan since 1994, providing over €1 billion in humanitarian aid. Funds are allocated strictly based on the humanitarian principles of independence, impartiality, neutrality and humanity to ensure access to those in need.
As a result of increased insecurity and takeover by the Taliban, transport and logistic possibilities have become very limited in Afghanistan. The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge transports much needed humanitarian assistance. The decision to deploy EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights is driven by needs on the ground, in consultation with Member States and humanitarian partner organisations to identify the most critical gaps. It is an integrated set of services with a focus on delivering humanitarian and other aid to countries affected by fragile humanitarian contexts and/or COVID-19 and where humanitarian emergencies are particularly difficult to access.
Image © European Commission, 2021