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Gran Canaria becomes airbase for Ebola transport

The UN has asked the Spanish Foreign Ministry for permission to make use of Gran Canaria airport as a base for transport to the Ebola-hit countries in Africa.

Airport LPA

Las Palmas airport, Gando. Photo Wikimedia

United Nations will establish an airlift to rescue countries in West Africa and has therefore requested to use either the military or civilian part of Gran Canaria Gando Airport (also called Las Palmas airport). Initially they want to station one of its transport airplanes to transport equipment and personnel to Ebola-affected countries. The UN already has an aircraft stationed in Dakar (Senegal), but they fear that there is a risk that airports in Africa can be closed, and then it will be strategically valuable to an airport outside the African continent.

UN World Food Programme (WFP) has for two years had a logistics base in the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The premises of the port is now too small, so that the United Nations has had to rent more space outside the harbor.

WFP logoThere is an agreement with the Spanish authorities that within one year should be more room available within the port area. The representative of WFP in Las Palmas Pablo Yuste says he talks with the Spanish government “almost daily”, but he is aware that it may take time to get answers.

WFP, World Food Programme, is the UN’s food aid and is the world’s largest humanitarian organization providing malnourished and starving people food and is responsible for logistical support to other organizations and states of emergency. 100 percent of WFP’s budget is based on voluntary contributions.