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Medical Aid Arrives in Iraqi Kurdistan, Egypt, and More

Direct Relief's Humanitarian Activity for the week of 05/10/2024 - 05/17/2024


Operational Update

Children in Bardarash, one of the many camps for refugees and internally displaced people in northern Iraq. The area receives donated medication from Direct Relief through the DOH clinics. (Photo Courtesy of Duhok DOH, the regional public health authority in Iraqi Kurdistan)

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 507 shipments of requested medical aid to 46 U.S. states and territories and 12 countries worldwide.

The shipments contained 11.2 million defined daily doses of medication and supplies, including insulin, prenatal vitamins, cardiovascular medications, and more.

Families Receive Medication in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdish-populated part of northern Iraq, is home to over 1 million refugees and internally displaced people, or IDPs, following a genocidal ISIS campaign of the Yazidi ethnic minority group from 2014 to 2017. Public support to the IDP camps has dwindled or even formally terminated, and those living in the camps are now being told to return home to areas that remain hostile and unsafe.

A young patient meets with a doctor at a Duhok Directorate of Health-run clinic. (Photo courtesy of Duhok DOH, the regional public health authority in Iraqi Kurdistan)

Over the past 18 months, the region has seen a near-total withdrawal of foreign assistance. The result has been the suspension or deterioration of public services, economic and political volatility, and impending camp closures, compounding a humanitarian crisis for some of the most acutely marginalized groups in the region.

Medication shortages are also a challenge in the region, and Direct Relief has continued to serve as a medical supply stopgap through its support of the regional public health authority, the Duhok Directorate of Health. or DOH. In total, Direct Relief has mobilized 27 tons of medical aid worth over $86 million, including emergency prep and response products, medications for pediatric patients, cancer medication, and insulin.

IOM Egypt Receives Field Medic Packs

Recently, the International Organization for Migration, Egypt, provided 100 field medic packs to the Egyptian Ambulance Organization. Originally donated by Direct Relief, each backpack contains supplies and equipment to meet a variety of prevalent emergency-related medical issues, including infection control, diagnostics, trauma care, and personal protection tools.

A branch of the Egyptian Ministry of Health, the Egyptian Ambulance Organization operates a fleet of over 2,000 ambulances in Egypt, with many stationed at border crossing points providing emergency medical transport to people fleeing the conflicts in Gaza and Sudan.

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai Shares about Breast Cancer Work in Ghana

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, Ghanaian breast cancer surgeon and president of Breast Care International, visited Direct Relief headquarters along with her family on May 15, 2024. She presented to staff about the state of breast cancer care in Ghana, the work of BCI, and the importance of Direct Relief’s support.

Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, Ghanaian breast cancer surgeon and president of Breast Care International, or BCI, visited Direct Relief headquarters along with her family this week. BCI, an NGO dedicated to breast cancer prevention and control in Ghana, is a long-time partner of Direct Relief, receiving $95.2 million in donated medical products since 2014.

Dr. Addai shared that, in Ghana, 60 to 70 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are already in advanced stages of the disease, due to the stigma and lack of education and awareness about the disease. Since its founding in 2002, BCI has taken a multifaceted approach to fighting breast cancer: educating women, facilitating needed medications from donors like Direct Relief to a network of health centers, and empowering survivors to share their stories.

Operational Snapshot


Over the last week, Direct Relief shipped more than 3.8 million defined daily doses of medication outside the U.S.

Countries that received medical aid over the past week included:

  • Syria
  • Mongolia
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Barbados
  • Jamaica
  • Malawi
  • Afghanistan
  • Honduras


Direct Relief delivered 491 shipments containing over eight tons of medications during the past seven days to organizations, including the following:

  • Welvista, South Carolina
  • NC MedAssist, North Carolina
  • St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy
  • CommunityHealth
  • The Agape Clinic
  • Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island
  • St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy Cincinnati
  • Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic Pharmacy
  • New Song Health Center dba Bolingbrook Christian Health Center
  • Charis Health Center, Tennessee


Since January 1, 2024, Direct Relief has delivered 8,881 shipments to 1,634 partner organizations in 54 U.S. states and territories and 71 countries.

These shipments contained 161.2 million defined daily doses of medication totaling 2.6 million lbs.

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