An Ethiopian Airlines cargo flight loaded with a large batch of medical supplies headed for Africa from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation departed from Guangzhou, China and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday. The flight carried 5.4 million face masks, kits for 1.08 million detection tests, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 sets of protective face shields set to be transported on and distributed throughout the rest of the continent.
The remaining shipments of medical supplies are expected to reach Addis Ababa and be distributed to more African nations over the next few weeks.
This relief initiative forms part of Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation’s ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and provide aid to afflicted communities across the globe. Earlier this week, the foundations had announced their commitment to donating 100,000 medical masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective suits and face shields to each of the 54 nations on the African continent.
Collaboration and partnership with the Alibaba-led Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hubs in Ethiopia and Rwanda has been important to this effort. The flight with the shipment landed at the eWTP hub in Ethiopia, which will help facilitate transport and distribution of donations throughout the continent. The donation was also made possible thanks to close cooperation with the Ethiopian Government and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Ethiopian Airlines – whose actions have all been crucial to enable a rapid response and delivery of these most-needed medical supplies.
"Getting these donations to all 54 African countries, with diverse geographic conditions and different levels of infrastructure, is a great logistical and transportation challenge. We are working around the clock to make the delivery as fast as possible. The faster we move, the earlier we can help," said the Jack Ma Foundation.
"Like so many other areas of life, the pandemic has brought about new challenges for the global movement of goods. With our technology and eWTP Hubs, we are doing our utmost to quickly deliver these donations, so the supplies can reach those who need them most," added Juntao Song, secretary general of eWTP.
This donation is part of global efforts that the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations have promoted to support the areas of the world most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, sourcing and delivering various types of medical supplies to countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Slovenia, as well as funding research and development of COVID-19 virus treatment options in China and at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Australia) and Columbia University (USA). Further donations are expected to be announced over the coming days and weeks.