Monday, August 15, 2011

Workplace Giving UK » Blog Archive » British Airways relief flight departs for Ethiopia

British Airways is flying a relief aircraft full of emergency supplies and equipment to East Africa, where over 12 million people are at risk from famine, disease and drought.

A Boeing 747 freighter with capacity for up to 110 tonnes of cargo flew from Stansted airport to Ethiopia. The aircraft is carrying 5,000 meters of pipe from Oxfam, which will be used to supply much-needed water to the Dolo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia, as well as vital emergency food and medical supplies from UNICEF.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “The worst drought in 50 years means the lives of millions of people hang in the balance. It is vital that we get aid from charities like Oxfam and UNICEF to the most seriously affected areas across East Africa. We want to do what we can to help those caught up in this terrible crisis.”

Oxfam is among those working in the region and aims to reach some 3 million people across Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s humanitarian director, who was at the airport when the flight departed, said: “It was a moving sight to see the aircraft being loaded with Oxfam’s supplies today. It is thanks to the huge support we have received from the British public and organisations such as British Airways that we can get this vital equipment to where it is needed.

“The pipe we are flying out today will be used to channel life-saving clean water over an incredible 5km into the Dolo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia; where close to 2,000 desperate people are arriving every day.”

The BA8590, crewed by British Airways’ partners Global Supply Systems, departed from Stansted Airport at 9.15am flying direct to Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, where aid will be unloaded and taken to the worst affected areas.

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