Panalpina has continued its year-end tradition of providing relief flights through its air charter expertise with its sixth donated flight to the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for aid to South Sudan.
The global forwarder and logistics provider has assisted UNICEF by flying relief aid to Africa to help children in South Sudan, where the humanitarian needs after years of conflict remain massive.
A Panalpina chartered cargo aircraft landed last night in neighbouring Uganda, 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.[pullquote]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.” – Panalpina CEO, Stefan Karlen[/pullquote]
Panalpina’s Charter Network arranged the flight in support of the respected UN organisation. 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.
“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,” says Tim Irwin, chief of communications at UNICEF South Sudan. “But the years of conflict have come at an enormous cost and the humanitarian needs remain massive,” he adds.
The staggering scale of destruction and suffering determine people’s everyday lives in South Sudan, notes Panalpina. Some 2.6 million children have been born into war with nearly 4.4 million people, or 40 per cent of the entire population, suffering from food insecurity.
South Sudan now also has the world’s highest proportion of children who do not attend school with an estimated 2.2 million children receiving 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.
The Panalpina chartered MD-11 freighter took off from Liège Airport (LGG) in the afternoon of 5 December and arrived in Entebbe, Uganda in the middle of the night on 6 December. 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,” says Panalpina’s CEO, Stefan Karlen. “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,” Karlen adds.
“Panalpina’s commitment is unparalleled,” adds Hans Kuenzle, president of UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein. “To even come close to covering the enormous demand for life-saving aid in the world’s crisis regions, we rely on the generous support from companies such as Panalpina that transport these goods free of charge.”
Panalpina supported UNICEF South Sudan last year and in 2016, flew much-needed relief goods to Chad, where malnutrition and natural disasters had led to a health emergency. In 2015, Panalpina supplied a charter flight to Burundi, where a recurring crisis and violence took a heavy toll on society. In 2014, Panalpina supported the fight against Ebola by flying life-saving humanitarian aid to Sierra Leone. And in 2013, Panalpina’s first relief flight for UNICEF took goods to the Central African Republic.