Italy sent medical aid to Cuba to combat a new wave of Covid-19 on the island. A flight carrying medicines, equipment (including ventilators), and medical supplies landed at Havana’s Jose Marti airport on 26 August. It was a special Neos flight from Italy, transporting medical supplies and equipment worth around a million and a half euros.
The humanitarian operation results from an initiative promoted by several Italian associations (including AICEC, the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Italy-Cuba National Friendship Association), CGIL and the Piedmont Region. The airlift was financially supported within the framework of the cooperation programme PADIT (articulated platform for integrated territorial development), managed in Cuba by the United Nations Development Programme and co-financed by the Italian (AICS) and Swiss (COSUDE) Development Cooperation Agencies.
The Italian Ambassador to Cuba, Roberto Vellano, emphasised that “the joint commitment shown in this operation by civil society organisations, with the support of the Cuban authorities and Italian and international institutions, is one of the strengths of Italy’s presence in Cuba”. On the eve of the aid arrival, 25 August, a meeting was held at the Italian Embassy with the representatives of the Italian associations that collected the medical aid to welcome them.
Thanks to this solidarity campaign, it will be possible to distribute the medical supplies collected in Italy in the provinces most affected by the current pandemic peak, such as Havana, Pinar del Rio, Cienfuegos, Ciego de Ávila, Holguín and Santiago.