In an emergency meeting today at Direct Relief’s warehouse headquarters, Peruvian Vice Consul Aelín Perez and Dr. Ralph Kuon, president of the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS), planned for expedited humanitarian assistance in response to Wednesday’s massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake.
Perez surveyed Direct Relief’s operations, met with the team handling the emergency response, and authorized on behalf of the Peruvian government immediate clearance of Direct Relief’s humanitarian aid.
CEO Thomas Tighe extended his deepest sympathies to Perez for the tragic loss of life caused by the earthquake and pledged Direct Relief’s full and ongoing support to help care for victims in response to the tragedy.
Dr. Kuon, whose organization conducts extensive humanitarian health efforts in Peru, is providing invaluable information from the network of Peruvian health officials and is supporting in-country logistics to ensure essential material is reaching responders immediately.
As the health needs of victims continue to be identified, Direct Relief is making arrangements to airlift additional medical and personal care supplies. FedEx, which provided at no charge the initial airlift yesterday, has offered its continued logistics and transport support to Direct Relief’s response.
Program Officer Dan Smith, whose wife and daughter are in Peru, is coordinating Direct Relief’s response. Smith has worked closely with the office of the Archdiocese of Lima for over five years on various humanitarian health projects and is in close communication with the Peruvian national civil defense coordinating agency, PAMS, and other Peruvian organizations involved in the relief effort.
Direct Relief’s first emergency airlift, completed less than 20 hours after the quake, included medical and first aid items specifically requested by Peruvian authorities.
Yesterday, Direct Relief committed $100,000 of its own resources to the quake relief effort, regardless of whether any contributions are received. Any additional funds that are received for the quake will be restricted for use only in response to the Peru earthquake.
In light of the significant attention to this emergency, we wish to clarify that any funds received for the Peru quake will be used exclusively for this purpose without any expense charged to administration or fundraising. Direct Relief pays all such overhead expenses with its own funds, thanks to a generous bequest received last year.
Direct Relief would sincerely like to thank the following corporate donors for making their materials available for the relief effort:
- Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
- Carlsbad Technology, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies
- Marlex Pharmaceuticals
- Matrixx Initiatives, Inc.
- McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals
- Midmark Corporation
- Miltex, Inc.
- Mylan Laboratories, Inc.
- OHM Laboratories, Inc.
- Sage Products, Inc.
- Schering-Plough Corporation
- Watson Pharmaceuticals
- Wisconsin Pharmacal Company LLC
Direct Relief is closely monitoring the situation and is in constant communication with its in-country partner network. As the relief effort evolves, additional shipments will be air freighted as required.