An A-400M cargo plane of the Turkish Air Force carrying medical supplies donated by Turkey was dispatched to a number of Allies and partners in the Balkans region on Wednesday (8 April 2020). The medical supplies were provided by the Turkish Ministry of Health to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak in North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo.
The supplies include masks, overalls and test kits and left from Ankara’s Etimesgut Airbase on a Turkish Army aircraft earlier today. The medical supplies were sent in crates displaying the words of 13th century poet Jalaluddin Rumi: “There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness.”
North Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina requested assistance via NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). The EADRCC is NATO’s principal disaster response mechanism. The Centre operates on a 24/7 basis, coordinating requests from NATO Allies and partners, as well as offers of assistance to cope with the consequences of major crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Turkish initiative is the latest example of Allied efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Turkey sent another A-400M cargo plane of the Turkish Air Force carrying medical supplies to Spain and Italy.