Global Update: Haiti Earthquake, U.S. Flooding and Fires, Vaccines to Mexico

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

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Health

Emergency medical aid is prepped and packed for wildfire impacted communities in California and flood damaged areas of Tennessee on August 24, 2021, at Direct Relief's warehouse. The shipments contained insulin, inhalers, Emergency Medical Backpacks for triage care, and personal care products for evacuees and more. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Emergency medical aid is prepped and packed for wildfire impacted communities in California and flood damaged areas of Tennessee on August 24, 2021, at Direct Relief's warehouse. The shipments contained insulin, inhalers, Emergency Medical Backpacks for triage care, and personal care products for evacuees and more. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

In Summary

  • As Haiti reels from a massive earthquake, Direct Relief deployed millions of dollars in medical aid and mobilized a charter flight of additional support.
  • Amid flooding, storms, and wildfires in the U.S., the organization is making medical aid available to on-the-ground providers.
  • The organization facilitated the donation of 1.75 million Moderna Covid-19 vaccines from the U.S. government to Mexico.
  • Covid-19 hit India’s women hard. A $250,000 Direct Relief grant will bolster everything from mask distribution to Covid-19 treatment centers.
  • A grassroots mobile clinic supported by Direct Relief is providing street medicine to people experiencing homelessness in Butte County, California.

Top Stories

Responding to Haiti’s Devastating Earthquake

Pallets of emergency medical aid from Direct Relief are staged at the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tennessee, for Haiti. (Photo: FedEx)
Pallets of emergency medical aid from Direct Relief are staged at the FedEx facility in Memphis, Tennessee, for Haiti. (Photo: FedEx)

The situation: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti on August 14. More than 2,200 deaths have been reported thus far, with many more people injured or missing.

The response: Shipments of medical aid have been ongoing since the earthquake occurred, and on Thursday 79 tons of critical medical supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince via a dedicated FedEx charter flight. Supplies on the flight included prescription medications, IV solutions, emergency medical backpacks, and other items.

The impact: Direct Relief’s Port-au-Prince-based staff are distributing the inbound emergency shipments, enabling health care providers to continue offering life-saving services to patients affected by the quake.

 

Working with Partners as Flooding, Storms, and Fires Strike U.S.

Damage was extensive from heavy rains and devastating floods in Waverly, Tennessee, as seen on Aug. 22, 2021. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Damage was extensive from heavy rains and devastating floods in Waverly, Tennessee, as seen on Aug. 22, 2021. (Photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The situation: A deadly storm in North Carolina. Wildfires across the West. Fatal flooding in Tennessee. A slew of disasters has struck the U.S. in recent weeks.

The response: Direct Relief is working with local response agencies and on-the-ground partners to assess needs and fulfill requests for support. The organization has also committed $1 million to wildfire response.

The impact: The organization is accustomed to meeting needs during and after a disaster and will continue to respond as needed.

 

First Moderna Covid-19 Vaccines Delivered to Mexico

FedEx flight containing 1.75 million Moderna Covid-19 vaccine doses arrived in Mexico. (Photo: Mexico Foreign Ministry)
FedEx flight containing 1.75 million Moderna Covid-19 vaccine doses arrived in Mexico. (Photo: Mexico Foreign Ministry)

The situation: The Mexican government requested help with a donation of 1.75 million Moderna Covid-19 vaccines from the U.S. government to Mexico – the first of this particular vaccine the country has received.

The response: Direct Relief facilitated the donation of a FedEx flight to transport the vaccines and served as the licensed distributor importing the medicine.

The impact: “Every lot of vaccine brings us closer to the end of the pandemic,” said Eduardo Mendoza, who manages Direct Relief’s operations in Mexico.

 

Funding Masks, Covid-19 Care, and Mental Health Support for India’s Women

SEWA members craft face coverings for distribution in their communities. (Photo courtesy of SEWA)
SEWA members craft face coverings for distribution in their communities. (Photo courtesy of SEWA)

The situation: From illness to ravaged livelihoods to intimate partner violence, Covid-19 has hit India’s women hard.

The response: The group SEWA India is providing Covid-19 care, an information hotline, mask distribution, mental health support, and training in new livelihoods to women affected by the pandemic. Direct Relief is supporting its efforts with a $250,000 grant.

The impact: “Had it not been for Direct Relief, we would not have been able to [take action] immediately, as the need arose,” SEWA’s director said.

 

Providing Street Medicine in Butte County, CA

Elisabeth (blue shirt) and Denise (tan shirt) with Medspire volunteer nursing student volunteers at Comanche Creek in April 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Natalie Soto)
Elisabeth (blue shirt) and Denise (tan shirt) with Medspire volunteer nursing student volunteers at Comanche Creek in April 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Natalie Soto)

The situation: After the Camp Fire destroyed the California town of Paradise in 2018, a family group of nurses founded Medspire. As their community’s needs have evolved, the group has recently turned its attention to homelessness in Chico, a nearby city.

The response: Since the Camp Fire, Direct Relief has provided Medspire and other Butte County health care organizations with $872,400 in medical support and $1.2 million in funding.

The impact: The support has helped with pop-up clinics, street medicine, and other essential interventions in the community.

 

In Brief

The United States

  • Direct Relief has made 781 shipments to 542 partners in 45 states and territories over the past two weeks, totaling $9.5 million in value and more than 10,801 pounds.
  • During that time, $1.6 million in grants has been distributed.

 

Around the World

  • In the past two weeks, Direct Relief has made 66 shipments to 30 partners in 16 countries, totaling $60 million in value and more than 418,898 pounds. During the same period, $290,000 has been granted.
  • A shipment of medical aid departed Thursday to equip members of Reach Out Worldwide as they provide medical care to people from Afghanistan seeking care in Turkey. The shipment included Emergency Medical Backpacks for triage care, oral rehydration solutions, and personal care products for people experiencing displacement.

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