Congo welcomes EU Humanitarian Air Bridge aid to tackle pandemic

Kinshasa - The Congolese government welcomed aid carried by the European Union's recently established Humanitarian Air Bridge service aimed at helping the central African country tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The international community matters

The first of three flights carrying humanitarian workers and essential supplies arrived in the nation's capital Kinshasa early on Monday.

"This gift reminds us that we are also from the international community and that our problems concern the rest of the world," Congolese Minister for Foreign Affairs Marie Tumba Nzeza told dpa.

Also on the flight were a number of high-ranking European politicians, including European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, as well as the French and Belgian ministers for foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Philippe Goffin.

The officials are expected to meet with Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and other civil organizations while in the country, the EU said in a statement.

Congo is facing several epidemics

Commissioner Lenarcic said the EU would be giving Congo 40 million euros (45 million dollars) in humanitarian funding in 2020.

According to the statement, a number of other humanitarian aid flights to regions made more vulnerable by the coronavirus pandemic are also in the pipeline.

The EU has said that humanitarian needs in Congo are among the highest in the world.

Covid-19 has hit as the country grapples with an Ebola epidemic and outbreaks of both measles and cholera.

Curbing these epidemics is made more difficult because of militias fighting in certain areas of the country and widespread distrust of medical workers.

A Graphic shows the Spread of the Coronavirus