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Operational Update: Responding to Mexico Volcano Eruption, Typhoon Mawar, War in Ukraine



Emergency medical supplies donated by Direct Relief are distributed to local healthcare providers by Ukrainian Soul/Hospitable Hut. (Courtesy photo)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 548 shipments of requested medical aid to 45 U.S. states and territories and 13 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 6.4 million defined daily doses of medication, including emergency medical backpacks, PPE, antibiotics and more.

Volcano response, central mexico

Popocatépetl, Mexico’s most active volcano, has experienced heightened exhalation, tremor, and explosive activity since May 9, resulting in a Yellow phase 3 alert and the possibility of evacuation as a preventive measure against observed changes. This increase in activity has directly impacted the surrounding population in forty municipalities, causing ashfall and leading to the closure of schools, suspension of outdoor activities, and the cancellation of over 1,000 flights at Mexico City, Puebla, and Morelos airports. As of May 26, monitoring systems have detected 59 exhalations accompanied by volcanic gases, ash, and water vapor. Additionally, high-frequency tremors and ashfall have been observed in nearby municipalities.

In preparation for a potential eruption, Direct Relief has been in communication with the Mexican Red Cross, which has activated 4,000 volunteers ready to act at a moment’s notice. Direct Relief delivered 20 Emergency Response Backpacks to the Mexican Red Cross for use by volunteers and emergency healthcare providers in the area. Direct Relief has also sent a shipment of 1 million N95 masks for distribution to the areas affected by volcanic ash fall in the following days.

Popocatépetl on Friday, May 26, 2023. Photo courtesy of the National Center for Disaster Prevention, Mexico.

Typhoon mawar

Typhoon Mawar impacted Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) – both US Territories – over the past couple of days. Residents of Guam are dealing with damage, water supply issues and widespread power outages after experiencing hurricane-force winds and overwhelming rainfall over the past 36 hours. A typhoon warning for Guam and CNMI was lifted at 5 p.m. on Thursday, but strong winds persisted across much of the island chain.

Earlier, Typhoon Mawar had become 2023′s most intense storm. It was also stronger than any storm that formed in 2022. Despite significant wind damage and flooding, early reports by Guam’s local government indicate that no fatalities or major injuries occurred.

Direct Relief was in communication pre-landfall with the regional office of Administration of Strategic Preparedness & Response located in Guam, as well as the Public Health Departments in Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, to offer currently available inventory. Direct Relief is also in the process of dispatching a hurricane preparedness pack to the Northern Marianas Islands for use on the islands of Rota, Tinian, and Saipan.

Direct Relief will continue to monitor the situation and respond as requested.

Material aid for Ukraine

Since Feb. 24, 2022, Direct Relief has provided medical aid to Ukraine weighing more than 2.7 million pounds, or 1,350 tons, with more on the way.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian NGO Hromada Hub, supported by Direct Relief, conducted a field mission in the frontline city of Kherson under its “Food for body, food for soul” project to provide food aid and emergency psychological support to the civilian population. The team of psychologists was able to provide services to over 70 families.

Psychologists with the Ukrainian NGO, Hromada Hub, provide mental health services to residents of Kherson, Ukraine. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)

Kherson is subjected to daily shelling, creating a huge need for psychological support for the 20% remaining of its pre-war population of around 285,000 people. At present, the city’s emergency services have only one psychologist available.

Psychologists with Hromada Hub provide mental health services to residents of Kherson, Ukraine. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)



This week, Direct Relief shipped 5.6 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Ukraine
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Romania
  • Ghana
  • El Salvador
  • Liberia
  • Nepal


Direct Relief delivered 530 shipments containing almost three tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • PanCare of Florida, Inc. Malone, Florida
  • Clearwater Free Clinic, Florida
  • Primary Health Services Center, Louisiana
  • Alpha Omega Alliance Inc dba Riviera Beach Integrated Care, Florida
  • Wellness Pointe, Texas
  • Tarzana Treatment Center, California
  • The Haley Center, Florida
  • C. W. Williams Community Health Center Pharmacy, North Carolina
  • Health Services Inc., Alabama
  • Faith Family Medical Clinic, Tennessee


Since Jan. 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 7,259 shipments to 1,631 healthcare providers in 53 U.S. states and territories and 63 countries.

These shipments contained 235.7 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $762.1 million (wholesale), totaling 3.1 million lbs.

In The News

Gamers Without Borders raises $10m for humanitarian aid – Arab News: “Gamers Without Borders, the world’s largest charitable esports event, has concluded this year’s edition by raising a total of $10 million for its humanitarian aid partners. The money will go to Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, UNICEF, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, the UN’s World Food Programme and the UNHCR.”

Direct Relief, Health ProMed and Fondita de Jesús Celebrate Successful Health Fair in Vieques – El Vocero: Aware of the limitations of access to health services that the community of Vieques constantly faces, Direct Relief, Health ProMed and La Fondita de Jesús, held a health fair last Friday on the island municipality.”

Giving is Good Medicine

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