A cargo plane from the United Arab Emirates landed at Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 20 carrying seven tons of medical supplies set to benefit 7,000 South African medical workers.
“The arrival of the first aid is proof of the lasting partnership between our two countries.”
“The UAE has dedicated itself in acting as an active partner and contributor to the international community in light of the global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the UAE ambassador to South Africa, Mahash Al Hameli in a statement sent to New Africa Daily. “The arrival of the first aid provided today to South Africa is proof of the lasting partnership between our two countries and a common commitment to eradicate this virus and support South Africa’s efforts.”
This comes a day after the UAE had sent 18 tons of medical equipment to Mauritania. South Africa was the twenty-fourth country to receive Emirati aid in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
As Africa braces for the worst of the pandemic to hit, foreign countries have been angling to use medical aid as a form of soft diplomacy on the continent, leading to an influence competition of sorts between the Middle East, China, Europe, the United States, and even Russia.