Humanitarian Flight Departs from Ostend-Bruges Airport with Vital Medical Supplies for Flood-Affected Libya
Aid Flights Respond to Crisis
In response to the devastating floods currently plaguing Libya, a humanitarian flight carrying over 40 tons of essential medical supplies departed from Ostend-Bruges Airport on Friday. The flight was headed for Benghazi, a region severely impacted by the ongoing disaster. This aid initiative was made possible through a strategic collaboration between Egyptair Cargo, Skyline, UNICEF, Ostend-Bruges Airport, and handling agent Aviapartner.
The medical supplies being transported on the flight are crucial to the local healthcare facilities and residents of Libya. The region is currently experiencing severe shortages as a result of the flooding. Eric Dumas, CEO, expressed pride in the meaningful role that the partners have been able to play in providing this aid.
Ostend-Bruges Airport: A Consistent Partner in Humanitarian Missions
Ostend-Bruges Airport has a history of playing a key role in humanitarian missions. The airport’s efficiency, flexibility, and rapid handling procedures enable it to swiftly provide aid when it is most needed. Earlier this year, the airport was instrumental in providing aid to Turkey following a series of earthquakes. In late 2020, it was involved in multiple aid missions to Haiti. And in 2021, the airport facilitated the delivery of oxygen tanks to India during their battle against the COVID-19 crisis. The airport’s consistent involvement in these aid missions demonstrates its commitment to providing crucial humanitarian support in times of crisis.
International Aid Efforts in Libya
Two aid flights arrived in Benghazi from Doha on Thursday, carrying 23 tonnes of aid and a search and rescue team from the Qatar Red Crescent. The Qatari aid shipments, which include everything from tents to medicine, will soon make their way to Derna via alternative routes, as the main roads to the city remain cut off because of flood damage.
International aid continues to pour into Libya after Storm Daniel wreaked havoc on Derna and nearby coastal cities in eastern Libya. The storm, combined with the collapse of two aging, neglected dams, resulted in varying death tolls. The World Health Organization has confirmed 3,922 deaths, while other estimates suggest the number of dead could exceed 11,300. Thousands more people remain missing and are feared dead.
Disaster Impact and Response
The Libyan Red Crescent has expressed a significant need for specialized teams and equipment, as large parts of Derna are filled with the stench of death. Authorities have cordoned off parts of the city due to fears of contamination and the spread of disease. The deadly floods have brought about a certain degree of unity among Libya’s two rival governments, both of which are now engaged in relief efforts.
In recent days, Derna’s residents held protests on mud-caked streets and set the mayor’s house on fire. They accused authorities of failing to maintain the dams that burst and not evacuating residents before the powerful storm. The International Organization for Migration reported that at least 43,059 people have been displaced by the floods.
Unprecedented Climate Disaster
The torrential rainfall and resulting floods in Libya are the result of a very strong low-pressure system that previously brought catastrophic flooding to Greece. The storm developed into a tropical-like cyclone, known as a medicane, in the Mediterranean. The deadly storm comes in an unprecedented year of climate disasters and record-breaking weather extremes, from devastating wildfires to oppressive heat.
The warmer water of the Mediterranean, fueled by planet-warming pollution, is believed to have increased the storm’s heavy rainfall and ferociousness. Libya’s vulnerability to extreme weather is exacerbated by its long-running political conflict, which poses challenges for developing risk communication and hazard assessment strategies, coordinating rescue operations, and maintaining critical infrastructure.
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