Ethiopian Helping Save Lives in Africa and Beyond: WFP

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Addis Ababa, May 27/2020(ENA)  Ethiopian Airlines through distributing essential medical supplies to curb COVID-19 is helping a lot in saving lives across the continent of Africa and beyond, according to World Food Program.

Addis Ababa’s Ethiopian Airlines inaugurated the humanitarian air hub today in the presence of CEO Tewolde Gebremariam, Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and David Beasley UN World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director.

During the inaugural ceremony, David Beasley said the opening of the humanitarian air hub is just a starting as the Ethiopian airlines and the government of Ethiopia are successful collaborative partners.

Ethiopian is not just helping Ethiopians, but is helping us save lives all around the world. We are very grateful for that,” the Executive Director noted.

He added that the world needs to strategically address the issue of COVID-19 pandemic and hunger in a very balanced way.

If we are not careful, the cure could be much worse than the disease itself, Beasley said, and stressed “so that’s why we are putting this humanitarian air hub in Addis Ababa so that we can move the supplies strategically throughout the world and especially to the continent Africa.”

Ethiopian CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam showed up that togetherness and cooperation at global scale is crucial in the fight against the common enemy of COVID-19 pandemic.

You have tested our capabilities when we have surprised the world in delivering medical supplies to 51 countries in 5 days. So, we have done it three times with the Jack Ma Foundation and I think you have made a very good choice,” he articulated.

Ethiopian having the location advantage can transport humanitarian supplies to South America, Tewolde, stated, and added it has proven its prudent contribution in the fight against the pandemic.

Finance Minister, Ahmed Shide said on his part stated that containing the spread of the pandemic could be challenging in light of the underlining social and infrastructure setbacks of the country despite the on-going preventive and controlling measures being undertaken by the government.

Prevention and response control of the COVID-19 pandemic requires timely and well-coordinated effort by the government, all regional and international organizations, Ahmed pointed out.

That is why the government of Ethiopia fully supported and accepted WFP’s request to establish a humanitarian hub in Addis Ababa, Bole International Airport. We believe the hub will strengthen our ability to fight the pandemic by facilitating the transportation and distribution of essential supplies and equipment,” the minister noted.