LIEGE: December 08, 2016. Panalpina has donated another Holiday Season charter flight to UNICEF - on this occasion carrying 80 tons of aid to N'Djamena, Chad from Liege Airport that also helped out with a 50 percent reduction in charges.
This is the fourth time the company has partnered with the U.N children's organization in response to a humanitarian crisis in Africa. Last year the company carried 70 tons of aid on an MD-11 freighter to Bujumbura, Burundi.
In 2014 the company flew life-saving aid to Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak, and in 2013 flew desperately needed food and medicines to the Central African Republic.
The idea for Panalpina's annual relief flights was prompted by a discussion about the company's traditional Christmas gifts for customers and employees. It was decided that a charitable donation in the form of an aircraft charter for UNICEF would be of more value.
"Our goal is to reach the most vulnerable children that are in dire need of help. In landlocked Chad, there are many of them," commented Elsbeth Mueller, executive director of the Swiss committee for UNICEF. "We are very grateful for Panalpina's continued support with yet another relief flight to Africa."
As a result of crop failure from climate change in the country, and an influx of refugees escaping Boko Haram-style atrocities in Nigeria, Sudan and the Central African Republic, 3.9 million people are affected by the current crisis including 2.2 million children - of which nearly 200,000 under the age of five are suffering from acute malnutrition.
The latest aid shipment included vaccination equipment, malaria treatments, paracetamol, disinfectant, water purification tablets, hygiene sets, 15 tons of therapeutic milk sachets and 22 tons of blankets and tarpaulins.
"As in previous years, we decided that a charitable donation in the form of an aircraft charter for UNICEF would be of more value than Christmas gifts for customers and employees," said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen. "The goal of our donated charter remains the same too: to bring some respite to those who are less fortunate than us, especially children," he added.
According to an October situation report, UNICEF needed US$64.6 million for relief work in Chad this year. With three weeks left of 2016, it has received US$32 million.