As conflict and violence in Burkina Faso continue to displace people, two EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights are being operated to the country. The flights carry essential supplies and humanitarian workers to help the people in need and to support the humanitarian response.
On board the first Humanitarian Air Bridge flight to Ouagadougou, taking off today from Brussels, will be Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, together with Amélie de Montchalin, French Minister of State for European Affairs. They are meeting the President of Burkina Faso, H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, other high-level authorities, as well as members of the humanitarian community.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “The conflict in Burkina Faso has resulted in a weakened health system and large parts of the population, including youth and women, suffering from limited access to health facilities and basic supplies, a situation that has been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic. The EU stands in solidarity with the Burkinabe people. As part of our Team Europe response to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso, I am today pleased to announce the budget support disbursement of €60 million in July.”
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, stressed: “Burkina Faso is a priority country for the Humanitarian Air Bridge flights. The country is in the grip of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that continues to be fueled by non-state armed groups targeting civilians. It is unacceptable that, in Burkina Faso as elsewhere in the Sahel and worldwide, civilians are paying with their lives in conflicts. Nothing can justify the flouting of the humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law.”
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to Burkina Faso are being operated in cooperation by the European Commission, Denmark, and France. These flights are facilitated by the Humanitarian Logistics Network and are also coordinated with the Burkinabe authorities.
The EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operations form part of the EU's global response to the coronavirus pandemic in support of partner countries, which follows a Team Europe approach, combining resources from the EU, its Member States and financial institutions.
Due to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Burkina Faso, the EU isannouncing a further €10 million in humanitarian funding for aid organisations in the country.
The total EU humanitarian and development support this year in Burkina Faso now stands at €141.2 million. Since 2014, the EU has allocated more than €1 billion in humanitarian and development aid in Burkina Faso.
The EU is also one of the largest donors of humanitarian and development aid in countries across the Sahel. In 2020, ongoing EU humanitarian and development projects in the region amount to more than €785 million. Against a backdrop of rapidly rising humanitarian needs - the result of the combined effect of conflicts, food shortages, climate change and disease outbreaks, all exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic - the European Commission made a proposal for an additional €40 million humanitarian aid package for the Sahel countries.
Through its humanitarian aid projects in Burkina Faso, the EU provides shelter, food aid, access to healthcare and education, and protection for vulnerable people. The EU's development assistance supports longer-term projects addressing the root causes of instability, conflict, and vulnerability, especially in the most-hit regions. These projects range from healthcare, governance, food security, and job creation to security and defence, energy, social cohesion, and building communities' resilience.
As soon as the first coronavirus cases were reported in Burkina Faso, the EU has shown solidarity with the health authorities in Burkina Faso and the Burkinabe population in the fight against the pandemic. In total, €162 million from the EU and its Member States has been dedicated to Burkina Faso as part of the EU's Global Response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of EU response to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso, Commissioner Urpilainen announced today the approval by Team Europe of a new budget support including a fixed tranche of €60 million that will be quickly disbursed in July.
Through its funding, the EU and its Member States are supporting adaptations within the humanitarian response, health and socio-economic sectors, in line with the national COVID-19 Response Plan. The EU also contributed €2.4 million in humanitarian funding in support the World Health Organization's actions in the country on early detection and response, and on having adequate expertise on the ground.
Team Europe's support to the whole African continent in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic amounts to more than €6 billion, reaffirming the EU as a leading partner to African countries. This funding is helping countries strengthen their health system, support their economies in these challenging times, train health staff and reinforce social support systems.
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