Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines launched their 40th humanitarian delivery flight when the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner departed Everett, Wash., carrying more than 20,000 pounds of humanitarian supplies. The shipment, including supplies for health care and family needs, will be distributed to hospitals, clinics and charities in the Addis Ababa region.
“Ethiopian Airlines has been deeply involved in transporting critical COVID-19 supplies to support communities during these difficult and challenging times,” said Kagnew F. Asfaw, vice president ET Holidays & Digital Sales, Ethiopian Airlines. “Building on our history of collaboration in humanitarian flights, we are partnering with Boeing to bring home health care supplies. We would like to thank the Ethiopian community and several organizations in Seattle for their generosity and support for Ethiopian communities across the world during the global pandemic.”
“We are honored that Boeing is able to assist customers like Ethiopian Airlines as they transport critical medical supplies and support their local communities through the Humanitarian Delivery Fight program, especially during a challenge as significant as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cheri Carter, vice president of Boeing Global Engagement. “We are grateful to Ethiopian Airlines for their enduring commitment to the Humanitarian Delivery Program.”
Humanitarian supplies on the flight were provided by three charitable partners in Seattle: Resolute Health Outreach (RHO), the Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force of Seattle and Embuaa Family. They contributed supplies ranging from face masks, wipes and sterile gloves to exam tables, bassinets, medicine and more.
“Over the past 10 years, RHO has donated 200 tons of medical equipment to Ethiopia,” said Dr. Richard Solazzi, board chair at Resolute Health Outreach. “This would not be possible without the help and cooperation of Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing. We are grateful for their commitment to this humanitarian project.”
The Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force is led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, in partnership with Ethiopian embassies and diaspora communities around the world. “After COVID-19 came to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian community in the U.S. decided we needed to do something,” said Pastor Berhanu Waldemariam, chairman of the Seattle branch of the Ethiopian National COVID-19 Response Task Force. “We have collected these items and hospital equipment to help the Ethiopian government and people stay connected through partners such as Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing.”
Some of the medical supplies, clothing and hygiene products will be provided to the Mary Joy Foundation, which helps women and youth access skills and training to rise out of poverty. "Even during the COVID-19 crisis, it amazes me that people never shy away from helping others in need,” said Sister Zebider Zewdie, CEO of the Mary Joy Foundation. “This medical equipment will save countless lives and help people protect themselves from disease.”
The Humanitarian Delivery Flight Program was launched in 1992 as a collaboration between Boeing and its customers to transport humanitarian supplies assistance around the world on newly delivered airplanes with otherwise empty cargo holds. To date, there have been over 200 humanitarian delivery flights. More than 1.6 million pounds of critical supplies have been delivered since the start of the program.
By Deborah Feldman, Josh Green and Simren Luthra