WFP launches gov’t-supported air hub for COVID-19 response


The World Food Program /WFP/ has officially inaugurated its logistic hub for Covid response in African in Addis Ababa at Bole International Airport on May 27, 2020.
The new hub is part of the United Nations initiative from which COVID-19 supplies, equipment and humanitarian workers will be transported to and from African countries.
WFP Executive Director David Beasley, Minister of Finance Ahmed Shide, UN Resident Coordinator and UN Humanitarian Coordinator Catherine Sozi and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam attended the launching ceremony.
The hub is said to be used to scale up procurement and distribution of protective equipments and medical supplies for the pandemic response in Africa with the guidance and support of world food program and Ethiopian government.
On 13 April the first cargo flight arrived in Ethiopia from the United Arab Emirates loaded with aprons, face shields, gloves, goggles, gowns, masks and thermometers procured by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) for distribution to 32 African countries.
As stated on the event 25 team of WFP are set up in Addis Ababa to manage the operation 24 hours with organized warehouses and cargo tracking.
To enroll the global effort made to fight against the pandemic WFP set up logistic hubs and system of links to dispatch vital medical supplies and humanitarian cargo and transport health workers to the front lines of the pandemic.
Global Humanitarian Response Hubs located close to where medical supplies are manufactured in Dubai and China link to regional hubs like in Ethiopia where a fleet of smaller aircrafts will be on standby to move cargo and personnel into priority countries.
“This partnership between the Government of Ethiopia, WFP and WHO is aligned with the vision of the United Nations in Ethiopia and highlights the value of collaboration in responding to the needs of millions of people,” said Catherine Sozi.
Following further discussions with the Government of Ethiopia, WFP is planning to organize and process flights for humanitarian personnel through the Addis Ababa hub as well as medical evacuations.
WFP also provides dedicated cargo tracking, warehouse management and customer service to countries across Africa in collaboration with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.