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Preparing Air Charter Shipments for Syria and Turkey, California Flood Relief

Direct Relief's Humanitarian Activity for the week of 03/17/2023 - 03/24/2023


Operational Update

Pallets of emergency medical supplies are prepared for shipment to Syrian Relief and Development to support earthquake recovery efforts. (Maeve O'Connor/Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 499 shipments of requested medical aid to 48 U.S. states and territories and 13 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 21.5 million defined daily doses of medication, including antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, diabetes management medications and supplies, trauma care supplies, and more.

Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response

Through assessments and communication with medical organizations operating in the impacted areas of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, Direct Relief has learned that current needs are antibiotics, wound care supplies, prosthetics, medication for diabetes, hypertension, cancer, maternal/pediatric health, cholera treatment, mental health trauma care, and support for doctors and other healthcare staff working and volunteering to provide medical care in the affected regions.

In response, Direct Relief is coordinating its largest shipment to Syria to date, chartering a Boeing 777 cargo plane to transport 75 tons of requested medications and supplies to Syria this weekend. The charter departs from Los Angeles on Sunday, March 26, and will arrive in Turkey the following day. Upon arrival and customs clearance, the pallets will be trucked to the Syrian border and transported by UN vehicles for distribution to Aleppo and Idleb governorates. The shipment includes medications for diabetes and hypertension, antibiotics, a cholera treatment kit (containing medications and supplies to treat up to 120 severe cases or 100 mild cases), adult and children’s vitamins, pain relievers, toothpaste, wound care supplies, orthopedic braces, gloves, and more.

A second cargo plane charter has been scheduled for the first week in April, with supplies heading to support recovery efforts in Turkey through the Ministry of Health.

Pallets of emergency medical supplies are prepared for shipment to Syria from Direct Relief’s warehouse in Santa Barbara to support earthquake recovery efforts.

California storm response

The latest storm in a series of over a dozen atmospheric rivers moved through California this week, bringing more rain to areas already experiencing flooding. In response, Direct Relief has been supporting community groups and healthcare facilities in flood-impacted areas across the state.

This week, Emergency Health Kits departed Direct Relief’s warehouse in Santa Barbara today for Tule River Indian Health Center in Porterville, California. The center is assisting those affected and displaced by destructive flooding in the area.

Emergency Health Kits departed Direct Relief’s warehouse in Santa Barbara today for Tule River Indian Health Center in Porterville, California, on March 23, 2023. (Brianna Newport/Direct Relief)

Read more about Direct Relief’s response to recent California storms here.

Material aid for Ukraine

Several NGOs focused on health in Ukraine received medical aid from Direct Relief over the past seven days, including Kharkiv Renovation Fund and AICM, which received critical medications and emergency medical field packs.

Direct Relief Emergency Medical Response packs were distributed to first responders and paramedics in Ukraine this week by the local NGO, AICM. (Courtesy photo)

Since Feb. 24, 2022, Direct Relief has provided medical aid to Ukraine weighing more than 2.6 million pounds, or 1,300 tons, with more on the way.

Kharkiv Renovation Fund distributed requested medications to local healthcare clinics and hospitals donated by Direct Relief this week. (Courtesy photo)



This week, Direct Relief shipped 20.9 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Ukraine
  • Syria
  • Ghana
  • Armenia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Honduras
  • Burkina Faso
  • Turkey
  • El Salvador
  • Kenya


Direct Relief delivered 481 shipments containing over 28 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • Agape Clinic, Texas
  • Lifecycles Health Services, Inc., New Jersey
  • Faith Family Medical Clinic, Tennessee
  • Bethesda Health Clinic, Texas
  • Community Care Center, North Carolina
  • Fort Ross Volunteer Fire Department, California
  • Jefferson Comprehensive Health Center, Inc., Mississippi
  • Eunice Community Health Center, Louisiana
  • Cloverdale Citizens Emergency Response Team, California
  • NOTEP, Louisiana


Since Jan. 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 3,374 shipments to 1,229 healthcare providers in 53 U.S. states and territories and 52 countries.

These shipments contained 154.8 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $361.5 million (wholesale), totaling 2 million lbs.

In The News

Startup Curae Pharma360 partners with Direct Relief to distribute free contraceptives to safety-net clinics – Fierce Healthcare: “Curae Pharma360, a pharma startup focused on women’s health, has teamed up with Direct Relief to distribute emergency contraception to safety-net clinics.”

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