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Operational Update: Midwifery Support for Lebanon, Continued Response in Ukraine and More

Eleven countries supported with medical aid this week.



A shipment of midwife kits from Direct Relief arrives in Lebanon, distributed by Anera. Each kit contains the 59 essential items a midwife needs to perform 50 facility-based safe births. (Photo courtesy of Anera)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief delivered 279 shipments of requested medical aid to 34 U.S. states and territories and 11 countries worldwide, including Ukraine.

The shipments contained 5.8 million defined daily doses of medication, including N-95 masks, antibiotics, Covid-19 therapies, diabetes medication, and cancer treatments.

Prepping for Fire Season

In recent days, a retrofitted Blackhawk aircraft supported by Direct Relief has been used multiple times for firefighting in recent weeks.

Santa Barbara County’s Fire Department now has access to a helicopter capable of 1,000-gallon water drops to support firefighting efforts, and the HH-60L “Firehawk” helicopter 964 is responding to local fires and also available regional support as part of the mutual aid system.

Direct Relief contributed $400,000 directly to the Firehawk’s retrofit, and $750,000 was raised by other donors through Direct Relief. The military-grade aircraft was formerly in service with the California Air National Guard as an air ambulance and has since been upgraded with state-of-the-art avionics, new rescue hoist and water tank.

The aircraft has increased stability in high winds and night-flying equipment, critical assets during fire season.

The Firehawk was also seen in action as it responded to a 10-acre vegetation fire a few miles from Direct Relief’s headquarters on May 8, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Mike Eliason of Santa Barbara County Fire)

Ukraine Response to Date

Since February 24, Direct Relief has provided medical aid weighing more than 400 tons in weight and including over 68 million defined doses of medication, with more on the way.

Maintaining therapy for chronic diseases is important to prevent additional waves of medical emergencies that further strain an already taxed health system. This includes care for diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and others like cancer and rare diseases.

To support chronic disease care and cancer treatment in Ukraine and the surrounding countries, Direct Relief has collaborated with groups including the Ministries of Health in Ukraine and Moldova, and the World Health Organization to provide 60,000 vials of chemotherapy, 320,000 bottles of cardiovascular medications, and 61,000 vials/pens of insulin, with an additional 1.8 million vials to come.

Direct Relief is also preparing to send 200,000 doses of Covid-19 therapy to Ukraine and the surrounding countries. Ukraine’s Ministry of Health posted this week about receiving an additional infusion of support from Direct Relief, including antibiotics and other requested medications.

Emergency Response

Propelled by fierce winds and defying the efforts of more than 1,800 firefighters and other responders, the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire has grown to more than 270,000 acres in New Mexico, according to the governmental National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Last week, Direct Relief delivered an emergency delivery of air purifiers, N95 masks, and personal care products requested by Tewa Women United, a Native women-led organization that has also received a Direct Relief Fund for Health Equity grant. In addition, the organization made initial contact with New Mexico Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the ground in New Mexico. The medical aid was distributed to the community this week.

Additionally, Direct Relief shipped emergency medical supplies to Old Havana, Cuba, in response to a deadly hotel explosion that killed an estimated 43 people on Tuesday. The shipment was conducted in coordination with the Pan American Health Organization.

In the News


This week, outside the U.S., Direct Relief shipped more than 5.2 million defined daily doses of medication.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Ukraine
  • Peru
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Malawi
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Kenya


Direct Relief delivered 257 shipments containing 579,545 doses of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • Family Health Clinic of Monon, Indiana
  • Santa Clara County, California
  • Mission Of Mercy – Arizona Clinics, Arizona
  • Eunice Community Health Center, Louisiana
  • Will County Community Health Center, Illinois
  • Lighthouse Medical Ministries, Oklahoma
  • Hope Clinic and Care Center, Wisconsin
  • NC MedAssist, North Carolina
  • Faith Family Medical Clinic, Tennessee
  • Good Samaritan Clinic, Alabama


Since January 1, 2022, Direct Relief has delivered 6,785 shipments to 1,465 healthcare organizations in 51 U.S. states and territories and 74 countries.

These shipments contained 202.8 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $751.4 million (wholesale) and weighing 7.9 million lbs.

Ukraine Relief

Direct Relief is deploying emergency medical aid, from oxygen concentrators to critical care medicines – while preparing longer-term assistance to people in Ukraine displaced or affected by the war.

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