An A400M cargo aircraft of the Turkish Air Force carrying medical supplies donated by Turkey reached Spain and Italy on Wednesday as part of Allied efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aircraft landed first at Torrejón Air Base for further distribution of the supplies by the Spanish authorities.
A further delivery of medical supplies from Turkey reached Pratica di Mare Air Base in Italy later on Wednesday, say NATO in a news release.
“The medical supplies donated by Turkey to Spain and Italy consist of personal protection equipment and disinfectants, including 450,000 masks.”
They were reportedly sent in crates displaying – in Italian, Spanish and Turkish – the words of 13th century poet Jalaluddin Rumi: “There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed this example of NATO solidarity, saying he was “proud to see NATO Allies supporting each other through our disaster relief centre”.
Italy and Spain requested assistance via NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). The EADRCC is NATO’s principal disaster response mechanism.
NATO say that 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.