The cargo weighs nearly 18 tons and contains critical medical commodities procured by UNICEF on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the Free Health Care Initiative (FHCI).
The Government of Sierra Leone introduced the FHCI in 2010 to allow pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children under five years of age to receive essential treatment and medicines at no cost. To date, the FHCI has been supported by several donors, including UK Aid, the European Union, USAID and others.
The plane also brings to Sierra Leone a consignment for WHO: 140 litres of glycerol, one of the ingredients to produce alcohol-based hand rub, currently not available on the local market. This is a crucial IPC component for the prevention of infections.
The European Union, in collaboration with the Government of Germany and Brussels Airlines has worked hard to facilitate the airlifting of these medical supplies to Freetown.
Thanks to intense local consular EU coordination and through the German Federal Foreign Office repatriation program, the flight, which has already departed back to Brussels, also allowed the repatriation of 135 stranded tourists and European nationals to their home countries.
©European Union in Sierra Leone