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Ethiopia’s Tigray refugee crisis has displaced nearly 1million people and has resulted in a huge refugee crisis in a region where there was already over 100,000 people in need of food assistance prior to the outbreak in fighting in the end of 2020.

Priority Worldwide was selected in April 2021 by the US Government to organize a large door to door Air shipment of shelter and plastic tarpaulins from their Humanitarian Hub at the Dubai Humanitarian City to the UN agency warehouse in Addis Ababa. The shipment consisted of 90,000 kgs of tarpaulin cartons and needed to be transported urgently between UAE and Ethiopia.

Priority’s Emergency Response team worked closely with its offices in USA and United Arab Emirates to organize the trucking from the Dubai warehouse to the airport at Dubai World Central Airport. The company chartered a Boeing B777-200F belonging to the flag carrier of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines to transport the shipment in a single flight. The large load required some intensive load-planning consultation to ensure that it could all be built up into one flight.

Upon arrival at Addis Ababa, the shipment was customs cleared with the assistance of our Ethiopian partners and the truck deliveries were staged over 36 hours to deliver at the UN agency warehouse in Addis. The entire delivery from door to door was achieved within 96 hours.

The vital shelter tarpaulins were later internally transferred by road from Addis Ababa up to the Tigray region in the North of the Country.

Stuart Smith, Director for Emergency Response & Special Operations at Priority Worldwide commented:

This move was required urgently and was remarkable for the size of it as a single shipment. There were 1500 cartons packed over 150 pallets. Heavy co-ordination between the client, the warehouse in Dubai, the airport handling agent and airline was required. We would also like to thank our team & handling partners for their dedication out of hours and through the weekend for their support