LUXEMBOURG: Panalpina has delivered 80 tons of emergency aid on behalf of UNICEF to Freetown, Sierra Leone in support of the continuing Ebola crisis.
Cost of building up and handling the shipment at Luxembourg's Findel airport was donated by Luxair Cargo (right) and included protective equipment including masks, hoods, aprons, overalls and rubber boots; tents; antibiotics; anti-malarials; plus ready-to-use therapeutic food for recovering patients in the treatment centers and for malnourished children.
UNICEF estimates that around 9.8 million children and young people under the age of 20 are currently living in areas of West Africa affected by Ebola, of which almost one-third are in Sierra Leone.
Panalpina CEO Peter Ulber commented: "The relief flight will hopefully bring some respite to the people in the region, especially to the many affected children. It's been our privilege to contribute to the commendable aid efforts in Sierra Leone, and I thank everyone involved."
The World Food Programme (WFP) has announced it is working with the National Ebola Taskforce and Liberia Customs officials to extend the bonded area at Monrovia's Robertsfield airport to include the WFP Airport Transit Hub. This will enable the immediate offloading and safe storage of relief cargo until required for delivery to key locations throughout the country.
With 6,841 deaths and 18,464 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola by mid-December, World Health Organization assistant director-general Bruce Aylward said the failure of Sierra Leone's strategy for fighting the virus may have been due to the absence of a necessary shock - as happened in Monrovia last August: "Every new place that gets infected goes through that same terrible learning curve where a lot of people have to die ... before those behaviors start to change," Aylward explained.