The Airbus Foundation has used an Airbus A330 test aircraft to transport 100m3 (17 tonnes) of relief equipment and specialized water and sanitation equipment from East Midlands Airport, United Kingdom, to Entebbe, Uganda. The goods are destined to assist the increasing number of refugees escaping the deteriorating conflict situation in South Sudan.
The humanitarian mission was organized jointly between the Airbus Foundation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as well as the British and Uganda Red Cross Societies. The humanitarian cargo included a Mass Sanitation Emergency Response Unit provided by the British Red Cross. The unit will allow the Red Cross to provide sanitation to thousands of people living in a recently established refugee camp on the Uganda-South Sudan border.
“Hundreds – at times thousands – of people are crossing into Uganda every day,” said Robert Kwesiga, the Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross Society. “For most, the journey has been harrowing and long. They have only been able to get out at night out of fear for their safety. When they arrive, they are exhausted and traumatized, and many are malnourished. These supplies will help local Red Cross volunteers to respond effectively and efficiently, and will help them to provide people with clean water and basic sanitation and prevent disease outbreaks.”
“With the increasing conflict in South Sudan forcing more refugees to flee, the region has spiralled into a humanitarian catastrophe in Africa. The IFRC called upon us for help to provide an Airbus test aircraft in order to pick up the relief goods and fly them to Uganda,” said Fabrice Brégier, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft and a member of the Airbus Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We are pleased to be able to support and bring our logistical aid to the Ugandan Red Cross so they can help vulnerable people in the refugee camp.”
The South Sudanese refugee population in Uganda has more than tripled in six months to almost 720,000, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Since December 2013, more than 1.5 million people have left South Sudan seeking safety in neighbouring countries.
The Airbus Foundation, chaired by Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, includes Airbus, Airbus Helicopters and Airbus Defence and Space as founding and contributing members. It is the company’s vehicle for corporate philanthropy, using the group’s resources, aeronautic and space products, competencies, diverse workforce and culture for driving innovation to address societal issues. In particular, the Foundation supports the global humanitarian community and inspires and prepares young people for the challenges of tomorrow. Since its launch in December 2008, the Airbus Foundation has facilitated more than 47 relief or goodwill flights to numerous destinations around the globe. More information can be found at www.airbusgroup.com/foundation. Follow us on Twitter: @AirbusFdn
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