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Operational Update: Mobilizing Health Crisis Response in the Caribbean, Ukraine, and Around the World


Iryna, a resident of Fedorivka in Ukraine's Kherson region, with a consignment of Direct Relief solar-powered lights, June 12, 2023. The area was left largely without power after the Kakhovka Dam collapse on June 6 caused major flooding. "These will go to families with children," said Iryna, whose home was devastated by the high waters. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 452 shipments of requested medical aid to 40 U.S. states and territories and nine countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 12.6 million defined daily doses of medication, including vitamins, cardiovascular medicines, antibiotics and more.

Direct Relief convenes Caribbean Resilience Summit in Puerto Rico

Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe (center) speaks with healthcare officials and representatives of Caribbean nations at the Caribbean Resilient Summit in Puerto Rico.

This week in Puerto Rico, Direct Relief met with top health officials from 15 Caribbean nations to discuss increased collaboration of emergency response activities and risk mitigation due to the increased frequency and intensity of disasters and emergencies across the region.

The summit brought more than 40 leaders from across the Caribbean together to hear from medical and industry experts on the increased risk of disasters and the threats such events pose to health infrastructure in hurricane-prone areas around the region.

Read more here.

Midwife Kits arrive in Kampala, Uganda

This week, 90 Safe Birth Kits, which contain medical essentials for midwives assisting with birth, cleared customs in Kampala, Uganda, and are now safely stored at the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU). UNMU will collaborate with Uganda’s Ministry of Health to distribute the kits to health providers.

On June 15, 2023, staff at Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union in Kampala, Uganda, received a shipment of 90 Midwife Kits and additional supplies from Direct Relief. (Courtesy Photo)

This week, Direct Relief staff also participated in the International Confederation of Midwives 33rd Triennial Congress in Bali, sharing insights on data science and the role of midwives in humanitarian emergencies.

The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) supports, represents and works to strengthen professional associations of midwives worldwide. There are currently 140 Midwifery Associations, representing 119 countries across every continent. Together these associations represent over 1 million midwives globally. 

Responding to Smoke from Canadian Fires

In response to widespread smoke impacts in U.S. cities in the Northeast and Midwest, Direct Relief dispatched more shipments of medical aid to health centers in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania this week. Air purifiers, N95 masks, and respiratory and ophthalmic medications are bound for health centers in smoke-impacted areas.

Shipments bound for health centers and clinics depart Direct Relief’s warehouse on June 12, 2023. Included in the shipments were air purifiers for smoke-stifled cities dealing with air impacts from wildfires. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

Responding to The Dam Explosion in Ukraine

Ukrainian and international organizations, including Direct Relief and its local partner organizations, are scaling up operations to replenish medical stocks at local hospitals following the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine on June 6. Waters reportedly rose as much as 10 feet above normal levels in parts of the Kherson region, prompting a massive exodus of people

On June 13, the Chernivtsy-based NGO Hromada Hub delivered two truckloads of Direct Relief donated medicines, hygiene products and 20,000 liters of bottled water to Korolenko’s hospital. Having first consulted with the hospital about its needs, Hromada Hub delivered a range of medicines, including more than 900lbs (400kg) of Moxifloxacin hydrochloride, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.

Other Direct Relief-supported organizations in Ukraine also dispatched truckloads of medical products to Kherson. Since the dam collapse, Humanitarian Hub Zhytomyr, located in the eponymous western Ukrainian city, sent five tons of medicines and supplies. It also delivered gasoline-powered water pumps.

In the central city of Uman, the Ukrainian charity Modern Villages and Town sent a truck full of Direct Relief medicines, disinfectants and bottles of water. The organization has also been responding to the aftermath of Russian missile strikes in Uman on April 28 and June 8 that killed 23 people and injured dozens more.

In Ukraine’s east-central Poltava region, Direct Relief’s French partner Association Іnternationale de Сoopération Médicale (AICM) is coordinating a large planned delivery to Kherson with the local health authorities, given the looming threat of diseases like cholera.

Read more here.

Staff of Direct Relief’s partner Hromada Hub (Chernivtsy) stand with Viktor Korolenko (center), director of the Kherson Region Clinical Hospital, with a consignment of aid delivered by the NGO. Arriving in the wake of the June 6 collapse of the Kakhovka Dam and major flooding in the region, the two-truck delivery included medicines for water-borne illnesses that the director says are “inevitable… But we are ready, the hospital is prepared, and we now have enough antibiotics.” With Direct Relief’s support, Hromada Hub also sent hygiene products and 40,000 liters of bottled water for Kherson and Nikopol, located 160km up the Dnieper River. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)



This week, Direct Relief shipped 7.5 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Ukraine
  • Bangladesh
  • Ghana
  • Nicaragua
  • Paraguay
  • Djibouti


Direct Relief delivered 434 shipments containing more than 30.9 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • Welvista, South Carolina
  • NC MedAssist, North Carolina
  • Clinica Colorado, Colorado
  • St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy, Texas
  • HealthNet of Rock County, Inc., Wisconsin
  • Korean Community Services, California
  • CommunityHealth, Illinois
  • Sierra Health Center – Fullerton, California
  • Hope Clinic and Care Center, Wisconsin
  • UNC Health Care, North Carolina


Since Jan. 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 8,397 shipments to 1,771 healthcare providers in 55 U.S. states and territories and 65 countries.

These shipments contained 269.7 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $942.2 million (wholesale), totaling 8.3 million lbs.


How Direct Relief prepares for severe storms – Fox Weather: The humanitarian organization Direct Relief is gearing up to help those in need during severe weather and hurricanes.

Can off-grid energy solutions be the answer to climate-related disasters in the MENA region? – Fast Company Middle East: “Direct Relief is a not-for-profit helping deliver off-grid power to health centers for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Their President and CEO, Thomas Tighe, explains, “Modern health care presumes constant power availability. But successive years of record-setting wildfires, hurricanes, cold snaps, and flooding that have resulted in extended power shut-offs have eroded the validity of that presumption.”

Donated Intravenous Nutrients Are a Lifeline for Patients in Lebanon – Anera: “Lebanon’s economic crisis is making it more and more difficult to supply TPN bags because they are expensive and growing scarce. In its constant efforts to respond to Lebanon’s health needs, Anera has facilitated the distribution of a much-needed donation of more than 4,800 TPN bags for public hospitals across Lebanon. The donation was provided by Direct Relief, which has supported the Lebanese healthcare sector for years and continues to do so in partnership with highly active organizations like Anera.”

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