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First RAF Flight Delivering Coronavirus Aid To Africa

The International Development Secretary welcomed the aid and military expertise as “the best of British”.

The UK has sent its first RAF flight delivering medical coronavirus aid to Africa, providing crucial supplies needed to fight the pandemic.

A C-17 military transport plane left RAF Brize Norton on 27 June, loaded with supplies.

Funded by the Department For International Development the first trip will see the delivery of a field hospital, which will be used as a backup facility for frontline aid workers in the region.

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan praised the efforts as the “best of British”.

“This field hospital will play an important role in the global battle against coronavirus. Aid workers are on the frontline of the coronavirus response, and it is critical they are protected so they can continue their life-saving work," she said.

“This is the best of British – the UK military and UK aid – working together to solve a global problem for the benefit of all of us. No one is safe until we are all safe.”

16 pallets worth of UK Aid, that will make up the Field Hospital in Accra, being loaded on to the C17 at RAF Brize Norton (Picture: MOD).

This concerted effort by the UK to provide support in West Africa comes after an appeal from the United Nations to NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Relief Coordination Centre to help make sure medical supplies are reaching those most in need during the pandemic.

With commercial flights so disrupted alongside the growing cost of cargo flights, the UK’s support has become crucial in meeting Africa’s needs.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gave thanks for the UK’s efforts as the first NATO partner to provide an aid flight.

"NATO Allies are working together to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to support our partners. Last month, NATO agreed to support the UN's global call for airlift assistance,” he said.

“I warmly welcome that the United Kingdom is the first NATO Ally to come forward with an aid flight, delivering supplies to build a field hospital in Ghana.”

Cover image: The C17 loaded with the supplies as it departed Saturday morning (Picture: MOD).