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Direct Relief Commits $200,000 for Hurricane Otis Response as Mexico Reels from Category 5 Storm

Organization is mobilizing medical aid within Mexico for rapid distribution to Acapulco and surrounding areas.


Hurricane Otis

Emergency medical supplies reach health officials in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, on Oct. 20, 2023, ahead of Hurricane Otis' landfall. Direct Relief will be mobilizing additional support this week to the area, including Acapulco, which was devastated by high winds and storm surge from the Category 5 hurricane. (Eduardo Mendoza/Direct Relief)

MEXICO CITY – In response to catastrophic damage in Acapulco, Direct Relief has committed $200,000 to emergency response efforts in Mexico to assist with immediate medical needs.

The Category 5 storm, the strongest on record in the area, made landfall on Oct. 25, slamming Mexico’s Pacific Coast with winds of up to 165 miles per hour. Major infrastructure damage has been reported in the Acapulco area, and at least 27 people were killed as a result of the storms. Medical infrastructure is damaged in the area, and power outages are widespread.

Direct Relief is in communication with its local partner network, including the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, or IMSS, one of the largest providers of healthcare in the country, and has shared a list of available medications.

The organization has a long history of responding to hurricanes throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast, Caribbean region and Latin America and maintains an inventory of medications and supplies commonly requested after disruptive storms. A portion of the funds committed will support field medic packs, which contain essential medical supplies for care outside clinic walls.

Hurricanes can cause rapid displacement of entire communities, and people can become cut off from necessary medical care and prescription medications needed to manage their health. Unmanaged, chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma, can require emergency treatment at a time when emergency rooms may already be at capacity.

Direct Relief has staff in Mexico, and the organization has been incorporated as a Civil Association since 2014 and has been an authorized donee since 2015. As the only humanitarian wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals operating in Mexico that is fully compliant with COFEPRIS regulations, it can receive donations in-country and process internationally donated goods and is positioned to respond to both immediate public health requirements and long-term healthcare service needs in underserved communities.

The organization will continue to respond as medical needs become known.

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