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Operational Update: Critical Aid Shipments Depart for New York, Arrive in the Dominican Republic and Ukraine



Zhytomyr Hub delivers 15 emergency medical backpacks to the DSNS state civil defense service in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 565 shipments of requested medical aid to 45 U.S. states and territories and 13 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained five million defined daily doses of medication, including first aid kits, vitamins, PPE, antibiotics, and more.

Aid En Route to Asylum Seekers in U.S.

On Tuesday, Direct Relief received an urgent request for medical aid from Jericho Road Community Health Center based in Buffalo, New York, as their team began to see a large influx of asylum seekers in Buffalo. Their staff shared that “New York City is presently overwhelmed with asylum seekers who are being bused [there] from the Texas/Mexico border.

New York City is now busing some of these folks to other cities like Buffalo. In Buffalo, Jericho Road is leading the effort to resettle these folks. We presently are helping about 700 asylum seekers here in Buffalo at our VIVE shelter, three hotels, a college dorm, and several shelters.” They also expect about 1,000 more refugees to arrive in the coming days.

The Vive Shelter affiliated with Jericho Road Community Health Center in Buffalo, New York. (Courtesy Photo)

Jericho Road specifically requested over-the-counter products like personal hygiene products and cough medications, along with some basic medications. Direct Relief then let the staff select items from available inventory, which resulted in a 4-pallet shipment of emergency family hygiene kits, emergency medical backpacks, multivitamins for kids, bandages, and antifungal medication, among other items. The donation is scheduled to arrive at their center in Buffalo early next week.

Jericho Road Community Health Center (JRCHC) was originally started in 2007 as a private family medical practice and specializes in primary medical care services to Buffalo, New York’s underserved, predominantly refugees and other low-income members of the community. In addition, JRCHC provides wrap-around support services through programs that address non-medical, poverty-related issues and also now operates the nation’s largest asylee temporary shelter for those seeking asylum. Direct Relief began a partnership with Jericho Road in 2015 and has since sent the organization 115 shipments with over 517,000 defined daily doses of requested medical products.

Field Medic Backpacks Arrive in the Dominican Republic

Patronato Benefico Oriental recently redistributed Direct Relief-donated field medic backpacks to health organizations in the Dominican Republic. (Courtesy Photo)

Earlier this year, Patronato Benefico Oriental (PBO), an non-profit partner of Direct Relief that is located in the Dominican Republic, received field medic backpacks and then redistributed them to 29 health institutions across the island. A training was also carried out on how to use the backpacks. Rafael Vicioso, Director of the Civil Defense of La Romana, facilitated the training and gave attendees detailed information on the products in the backpacks.

Mirla Cedeño, Community Services Coordinator for PBO, introduced the staff from Civil Defense of La Romana who facilitated the training and gave attendees detailed information on the products in the backpacks. (Photos Courtesy of PBO)

In addition to its broader community health support work, PBO operates a large children’s project called Hogar del Niño (Children’s Home) that includes medical and dental health care, daycare services, a primary school, a vocational school, and tutoring for 85 deaf, mute, and blind children. The home also provides nutritious meals to thousands of children. The availability of daycare frees up the Dominican and immigrant Haitian parents of these children to work.

Ukrainian partner Delivers field medic backpacks

Earlier this week, Direct Relief’s Ukrainian partner NGO Zhytomyr Hub delivered 15 emergency medical backpacks to the DSNS state civil defense service in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. As well as tackling the full range of civilian-context accidents and emergencies, the local regional branch of the service dealt with the aftermath of more than 100 missile, bomb and drone strikes since the start of the war in February 2022. Zhytomyr is also Ukraine’s most forested region, and wildfires such as the one that destroyed around 40,000 hectares (about 100,000 acres) of forest in 2020 are a constant threat in the summer months.

Zhytomyr Hub delivers 15 emergency medical backpacks to the DSNS state civil defense service in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. (Nick Allen/Direct Relief)



This week, Direct Relief shipped 1.7 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • El Salvador
  • Ukraine
  • Syria
  • Dominican Republic
  • Morocco
  • Malawi
  • India
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Somaliland
  • Pakistan
  • Barbados
  • Sri Lanka


Direct Relief delivered 549 shipments containing more than 11 tons of medications over the past week to organizations, including the following:

  • Welvista, South Carolina
  • NC MedAssist, North Carolina
  • St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy, Texas
  • UNC Health Care, North Carolina
  • Palmetto Health Council, Inc., Georgia
  • LaSante Health Center, New York
  • Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic Pharmacy, Virginia
  • Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  • NOVA ScriptsCentral Inc Pharmacy, Virginia
  • Greenville Free Medical Clinic, South Carolina


Since Jan. 1, 2023, Direct Relief has delivered 10,700 shipments to 1,990 healthcare providers in 55 U.S. states and territories and 74 countries.

These shipments contained 304 million defined daily doses of medication valued at $1.1 billion (wholesale), totaling 3.6 million lbs.

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