The European Union will on Sunday launch a humanitarian air bridge to support the fight against the coronavirus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said Friday.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian, his Belgian counterpart Philippe Goffin and European Commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic will travel to Kinshasa on the flight, from Brussels.
On Monday, they will meet President Felix Tshisekedi in the capital, before travelling to the eastern city of Goma, in the troubled region on the border with Rwanda.
More flights will carry at least 40 tonnes of aid such as water purifiers, and medical supplies. provided by the EU, governments and humanitarian agencies.
So far, Africa has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with only 4,755 deaths recorded and 170,286 cases compared to more than 180,000 deaths and two million cases in Europe.
But poorer countries like the DRC would struggle to cope if the outbreak intensifies and Brussels has set aside 3.25 billion euros ($3.67 billion) in grants and 1.4 billion euros in loans to help countries through the crisis.