Direct Relief-Chartered Airlift Bound for Nepal Amid Covid-19 Surge

The 25-ton airlift to Nepal is the third by Direct Relief this month after two FedEx-donated charters arrived in India.

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Nepal

Shipments of oxygen concentrators and PPE are staged in the Direct Relief warehouse for delivery to health facilities in Nepal.  (Maeve O'Connor/Direct Relief)
Shipments of oxygen concentrators and PPE are staged in the Direct Relief warehouse for delivery to health facilities in Nepal. (Maeve O'Connor/Direct Relief)

A Direct Relief-chartered aircraft loaded with oxygen concentrators and Covid-19-specific medical supplies is departing the U.S. on May 25 for Nepal as it confronts the world’s highest per-capita Covid-19 case burden.

Hospitals across Nepal are nearing ICU and ventilator capacity and struggling with severe shortages of oxygen and other medical resources. Helping meet the acute need for oxygen, the May 25 flight from Chicago to Kathmandu will deliver 860 Direct Relief-purchased oxygen concentrators. Direct Relief is also helping secure a sustainable supply of medical-grade oxygen in Central Nepal by funding a new oxygen production plant at Siddhasthali Rural Community Hospital.

β€œOn behalf of the Government of Nepal and the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, DC, I would like to express my gratitude to Direct Relief for responding to our request for humanitarian medical relief at a time when Nepal is undergoing through the most difficult phases of the ongoing pandemic,” said Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Ambassador of Nepal to the United States. β€œI would like to assure all individuals and organizations concerned that the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. is committed to providing all necessary coordination and facilitation to Direct Relief, including in customs clearance, receipt and distribution of donated medical supplies once delivered in Nepal.”

In addition to oxygen, the 25-ton Direct Relief airlift will include PPE and medications contributed by companies including 3M, AbbVie, Baxter, BD, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Tifie Humanitarian, Viatris, and others. Nepali health officials expressly requested and approved every item included on the flight.

“People in Nepal are facing the worst Covid crisis in the world today based on per-capita confirmed cases, and they need urgent help,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “Direct Relief has the privilege of having worked with many extraordinarily skilled and committed Nepali partners, and we will do whatever we possibly can to help. We are profoundly grateful to the people and businesses whose contributions have made this airlift possible.”

Nepal-based organizations, including One Heart Worldwide, Dhulikhel Hospital, and The Covid-19 Crisis Management Center, will receive the Direct Relief-donated supplies in Kathmandu and distribute them to hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Medical aid arrives in Delhi, India, on May 16, 2021, after a second donated charter flight from FedEx arrived in-country. The shipment included 1.8 million KN95 masks, oxygen concentrators, and other medical aid requested by hospitals dealing with Covid-19 surges in the region. (Direct Relief photo)
Medical aid arrives in Delhi, India, on May 16, 2021, after a second donated charter flight from FedEx arrived in-country. The shipment included 1.8 million KN95 masks, oxygen concentrators, and other medical aid requested by hospitals dealing with Covid-19 surges in the region. (Direct Relief photo)

The humanitarian flight to Nepal follows two FedEx-donated airlifts that transported more than 4,000 oxygen concentrators and nearly 2 million KN95 masks to neighboring India. Direct Relief partnered with several organizations, including Community Partners International, Cornell Presbyterian Hospital, Navya, Northwell Health, and Tata Memorial Hospital, to mobilize and deliver the supplies.

Ambassador Statement

Click to access Statemnt-to-Direct-Relief-from-H.E.-Ambassador-1.pdf

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