Panalpina’s humanitarian relief flights at the end of the year have become a tradition whereby it offers its air charter expertise to UNICEF and it has carried out one this year to help children in South Sudan.
An MD-11 Freighter put on by the freight forwarder landed last night in neighboring Entebbe (Uganda) from Liege, carrying nearly 70 tonnes of supplies including emergency health kits. The supplies will be trucked to South Sudan and distributed across the country as the dry season begins.
Panalpina’s Charter Network arranged the flight in support of the UN organization. The consignment of relief aid left Belgium on Wednesday afternoon and items such as health and education kits as well as therapeutic milk to fight malnutrition, supplied by UNICEF are now headed for children, women and families in South Sudan.
UNICEF South Sudan chief of communications, Tim Irwin said: “The peace agreement signed in August 2018 gives us hope that children in South Sudan can be children once again and look forward to a better future. But the years of conflict have come at an enormous cost and the humanitarian needs remain massive.”
The staggering scale of destruction and suffering determine people’s everyday lives in South Sudan. 2.6 million children have been born into war. Around 4.4 million people, or 40 percent of the entire population, suffer from food insecurity. South Sudan now also has the world’s highest proportion of children who do not attend school. 2.2 million children receive no education.
For the flight chartered and donated by Panalpina, UNICEF gathered nearly 70 tonnes of relief aid, which not only includes teaching material for schools, but also equipment for midwives, reanimation equipment and ‘Interagency Emergency Health Kits’.
The standardised health packs containing medicines and medical supplies cover the diverse health needs in humanitarian emergencies and disasters. The kits ensure a fast, reliable and affordable supply of essential medicines for 50,000 people for three months and also address the need of children for psychosocial treatment in emergency situations.
For logistical reasons, and same as last year, it was decided to fly into Uganda from where the cargo is now being transported by trucks to South Sudan. The supplies will then be distributed across the country taking advantage of the upcoming dry season when dirt roads are passable.
“I am very pleased that we have again partnered with UNICEF and donated a relief flight to Africa. We have done this for the sixth time now, instead of making gifts to customers and employees before Christmas. The relief flights have become a tradition whereby we offer our air charter expertise and bring some respite to those who are less fortunate than us, especially children,” said Panalpina’s chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen.