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Global Update: Volcanic Eruption; Overdose-Reversing Medication; Global Grants

A look at Direct Relief's activities around the world.

Participants embrace after a group session at Puerto Rico's Center for Mind-Body Medicine. The Center said people close, lasting bonds from sharing their personal stories and experiences. (Courtesy photo)
Participants embrace after a group session at Puerto Rico's Center for Mind-Body Medicine. The Center said people close, lasting bonds from sharing their personal stories and experiences. (Courtesy photo)

In Summary

• As St. Vincent’s La Soufrière volcano repeatedly erupts, Direct Relief works to meet needs on the ground.

• Direct Relief provides 50 grants of $50,000 each to organizations around the world to help them continue their work amid the pandemic.

• As opioid overdoses increase, Direct Relief receives an additional 1 million doses of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

• A new program is helping Puerto Ricans prepare for future disasters by focusing on emotional resilience.

Top Stories

St. Vincent’s La Soufrière Volcano Has Repeatedly Erupted. Direct Relief Is Providing Medical Aid.

Ash coats a hillside on St. Vincent on April 11, 2021, as the eruption at La Soufriere blanketed communities with debris from the volcano. (Photo by UWI-Seismic Research Centre, Prof. Robertson)
Ash coats a hillside on St. Vincent on April 11, 2021, as the eruption at La Soufriere blanketed communities with debris from the volcano. (Photo by UWI-Seismic Research Centre, Prof. Robertson)

The situation: An active Caribbean volcano began erupting on April 9, one day after an imminent threat was declared.

The response: After discussing needs in the region with long-term partners, Direct Relief sent shipments of medical aid to the Pan American Health Organization and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

The impact: These groups will have respiratory medications, N95 masks, burn creams, first aid kits, hygiene supplies, and other essential medical items to aid communities affected by the eruption.

Direct Relief Receives an Additional 1 Million Doses of the Overdose-Reversing Medication Naloxone

A vial of Pfizer-donated naloxone. (Photo: Stephanie Klein-Davis for Direct Relief)
A vial of Pfizer-donated naloxone. (Photo: Stephanie Klein-Davis for Direct Relief)

The situation: Opioid overdoses are on the rise, with over 87,000 drug overdose deaths occurring in the 12 months ending in September 2020 — the most ever in a 12-month period.

The response: Since 2017, Direct Relief has distributed naloxone to 725 organizations in 51 states and territories. Now, a longtime Direct Relief partner is donating an additional 1 million doses.

The impact: Clinics, public health departments, harm reduction organizations, and other organizations fighting the opioid epidemic will be able to distribute naloxone to people who use drugs, their families and communities, and first responders.

As Organizations Around the World Fight Covid-19, Direct Relief Supports 50 with $50,000 Grants

A health worker takes a young patient's temperature at the HOPE Foundation Hospital for Women and Children of Bangladesh. (Courtesy photo)
A health worker takes a young patient’s temperature at the HOPE Foundation Hospital for Women and Children of Bangladesh. (Courtesy photo)

The situation: Groups providing everything from maternal health care to cancer treatments are dealing with increased costs, sick staff members, malnutrition among patients, and other challenges.

The response: Direct Relief is supporting organizations ranging from a midwifery group in Haiti to a Syrian association caring for refugees with $50,000 grants to help them meet increased needs.

The impact: The funding will buy PPE, pay staff members’ medical costs, and help these groups continue their vital work.

Repeated Disasters Have Worsened Mental Health in Puerto Rico. A New Program Is Increasing Resilience.

Puerto Ricans participate in a yoga session. Basic yoga is one of the core techniques the Center teaches. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine)
Puerto Ricans participate in a yoga session. Basic yoga is one of the core techniques the Center teaches. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine)

The situation: Mental health was already an issue in Puerto Rico. Then Hurricane Maria and a series of earthquakes caused widespread devastation.

The response: Puerto Rico’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine began a new program designed to increase Puerto Ricans’ emotional resilience – and to prepare them for future disasters. Direct Relief is supporting their efforts with a grant of more than $160,000.

The impact: Participants have learned skills to help them through Puerto Rico’s devastating 2020 earthquakes and the ongoing pandemic.

In Brief

The United States

• Over the past two weeks, Direct Relief has delivered 827 shipments to 577 health facilities in the U.S., totaling more than $11.4 million in value (wholesale).
• During that time, Direct Relief has issued more than $8.3 million in grants.
• After storms brought tornadoes and flooding to the southern United States, Direct Relief provided ongoing medical aid.
• Modeling by Direct Relief’s Research and Analysis team shows Covid-19 case counts climbing over the next two weeks.

Around the World

• In the past two weeks, Direct Relief has delivered 37 shipments to 35 international healthcare providers, totaling more than $53.9 million in value (wholesale).
• More than $670,000 in grants were distributed over the same two weeks.

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