The European Union has opened a humanitarian airlift to transport relief workers and emergency supplies to areas of the world that are short of supplies due to the coronavirus.
The first flight leaves Friday from Lyon to the Central African capital Bangui.
The aircraft transports approximately sixty NGO aid workers and 13 tons of relief goods. Two more flights with a total of 27 tons of relief goods will follow in the coming days.
On the way back, EU citizens are repatriated from the Central African Republic, among others.
More humanitarian flights paid by Brussels are planned in the coming weeks. African countries where the pandemic threatens to exacerbate existing misery are given priority.
EU countries are responsible for purchasing the relief goods.
European Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič also travels to Bangui, where he meets President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.
“If we leave part of the world to its own devices today, we will all be vulnerable tomorrow,” said the Slovenian. “This may be vital for some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.”