Direct Relief Extends Aid to Central America and Additional U.S. Partners as Ida Makes U.S. Landfall Today

Deploying its stand-by inventory of hurricane-response medical material aid, Direct Relief International is airlifting consignments today to partners in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the U.S. treating people affected by Tropical Storm Ida. Based on conversations with partners Sunday and early Monday, specific needs have been identified and consignments are being built for delivery Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ida makes landfall in the U.S. today, with winds of up to 70 mph expected to whip the coast of Alabama. Tropical storm watches are in effect along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. Clinics in the U.S. are bracing for landfall; the governor of Alabama has declared a state of emergency there in anticipation of the storm.

A total of $271,548 (wholesale) in specifically requested medical material aid is being deployed to three partner health centers and clinics in the Gulf States:
• Bayou Clinic in Bayou La Batre, AL
• Bethel Lutheran Medical Clinic in Biloxi, MS
• St. Thomas Clinic in New Orleans, LA.

Ida displaced thousands in El Salvador and Nicaragua when it hit November 5, according to partner and news reports. Direct Relief is providing more than $590,000 (wholesale) in medical material aid to support two longtime partners’ responses in Central America.

In El Salvador, the storm killed 124 people and caused massive flooding and mudslides. Direct Relief is equipping FUSAL, a longtime partner in El Salvador, with medical material aid requested to assist storm survivors, where an estimated 7,500 people have been displaced. Direct Relief’s consignment includes nutritional products, oral rehydration solutions, medications to treat fungal infections, and antibiotics to treat general infections.

In Nicaragua, Ida caused major damage to infrastructure, including bridges, roads, and homes in coastal regions, requiring more than 3,000 people to be evacuated. Power and telephone service were out as well. Direct Relief is sending medical aid to its partner American Nicaraguan Foundation, which works with more than 300 health facilities and hospitals throughout Nicaragua and can apportion aid where it’s most needed.

Direct Relief continues to stay in close contact with partners in Central America and the U.S. to provide support for their emergency response efforts.

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