ETHIOPIA – The World Health Organization (WHO) Logistics Hub in Dubai has delivered 85 metric tons of life-saving medical supplies to Ethiopia, the largest single shipment of humanitarian cargo to date airlifted by the Hub.

The shipment to Ethiopia wrapped up a historic week for the WHO Dubai Logistics Hub. Dispatching over four times the weekly average, the operation shipped over 450 metric tons of medical supplies valued at more than US$ 4.3 million in support of cholera outbreak response in Nigeria, critical shortages of medicines in Afghanistan, and trauma and surgical supplies to Syria and Yemen.

The supplies including essential medicines, trauma and surgical medicines, infusions, consumables equipment and cholera kits were flown by a charter flight donated by the United Arab Emirates that landed in Addis Ababa on 10 September. The supplies will address the urgent needs of more than 150 000 people.

This is an important demonstration of solidarity with people in need. This delivery will help bolster our efforts to provide relief to hundreds of thousands of families who are grappling with a difficult humanitarian situation,” said Dr Boureima Hama Sambo, WHO Representative in Ethiopia.

The WHO’s Logistics Hub in Dubai plays an instrumental role by rapidly responding to health emergencies around the world.  Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hub has successfully delivered US$ 90 million worth of health supplies through 705 shipments to over 120 countries.

While these supplies are critical to saving lives, WHO and partners are working closely to address the health needs of nearly 2.5 million people in the current crisis.

Ethiopia, which has been seating among the most affected African countries by Covid-19, is also facing a stretched civil conflict, which risks lives and livelihoods.

The USA and other global bodies have called on the Ethiopian government and rebellious forces from the Tigray region to start immediate negotiations to address the conflict.

Ethiopia registered 472 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 323,104 cases as of Sunday evening, the country’s health ministry said.

Meanwhile, 22 new virus-related deaths and 762 more recoveries were reported, bringing the national death toll to 4,929 and total recoveries to 290,748, the ministry said.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, has so far reported the highest COVID-19 caseload in the East Africa region.

According to the ministry, Ethiopia currently has 27,425 active cases, of whom 746 are under severe health conditions.

Amid a national push for vaccination, the East African country has so far administered a total of 2,794,490 vaccine doses, according to the ministry.