December Partner Update

December Partner Update

December 2022 Partner Update: Airlink’s Latest Operations 

Thailand – Health Systems Strengthening

Preparedness

With airlift from DHL Express, Airlink coordinated a shipment of recycled prosthetics with Penta Medical Recycling. The prosthetic devices are used to train local prosthetists and to provide those who could not normally afford prosthetic limbs a chance for increased physical mobility as well as access to social and economic opportunities.

Pakistan – Flooding

Response

Despite receding waters, Pakistan continues to face compounding crises following heavy flooding in August and September. The population now faces health related challenges, and shortages of food and medicines. In partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo, Airlink moved over 16,500 eco-blankets with Buddhist Tzu Chi to support sheltering needs of those displaced. With GlobalMedic, Airlink coordinated flights for three responders and a shipment of 1,800 Family Emergency Kits. These kits contain water purification and hygiene supplies, all critically needed for recovering communities that are at high risk for deadly water borne diseases. Airlink supported further cargo shipments on behalf of Convoy of Hope that provided over 150 displaced persons with shelter and brought critical healthcare services to over 10,00 people. In partnership with Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic, Airlink supported GlobalMedic in shipping Family Emergency Kits to 80,000 people in 60 communities across Pakistan’s Sindh province. These kits contained water purification units, hygiene items, and solar lights. With over 100 health facilities destroyed in the floods, these kits were essential in preventing further waterborne diseases.

Nepal – Rural Healthcare

Preparedness

The 2015 earthquake had a devastating impact on the Nepalese health system. Local healthcare workers are an integral part of the rural healthcare system in Nepal and in many cases they must work in challenging and stressful situations. Airlink supported flights for four NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief volunteers to Nepal to complete a community training program. The program was designed to train local health care professionals in the Dudhauli region, enabling clinics to provide crucial service for more than 40,000 people. NATAN’s volunteering facilitated the training, with a focus on maternal and trauma care.

Ukraine – Conflict & Displacement

Response

Airlink continues to coordinate flights for humanitarian cargo and relief personnel. This allows our partners to reach impacted communities with healthcare, water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition relief. Airlink remains committed to supporting the humanitarian response in Ukraine and surrounding countries, for as long as needs persist. Our response has been made possible thanks to the generosity and consistent support of partners at Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amerijet, British Airways, Flexport.org, Priority Worldwide Service, SEKO Logistics, United Airlines, UPS Foundation, and Virgin Atlantic.

Humanitarian needs throughout Ukraine are vast. With temperatures dropping and recently liberated cities now accessible, organizations are working to fill critical gaps across several interventions; racing against the clock and winter conditions. Ongoing missile strikes have left millions without electricity, clean water, and heat, also disrupting access to basic services. Estimates predict that about 50 percent of Ukraine’s energy system is damaged. Organizations including Information Technology Disaster Resource Center have provided networking equipment to emergency operations, bolstering connectivity.

Winterization efforts have been prioritized to protect impacted communities, including internally displaced populations, those with damaged homes, and refugees. All of whom are particularly vulnerable to the deadly winter temperatures. To address this need, Airlink coordinated shipments of critically needed blankets and other winterization specific supplies on behalf of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and World of Giving. Additionally, Global Emergency Relief Recovery & Reconstruction and RE:ACT Disaster Response recently sent teams to Ukraine to assess how their responses can best support affected communities throughout the winter. IsraAID’s emergency response team continues distributing relief supplies, conducting assessments to prepare for the winter, and providing psychological support to affected communities.

Airlink supported flights to aid in the distribution of Shelters International Disaster Response Society’s food program, reaching vulnerable Ukrainian communities with over two metric tons of food.

The importance of strengthening health systems capacity remains critical as attacks on health infrastructure have severely impacted access to medical services. Airlink and its partners continue to coordinate the movement of medical supplies and equipment, medicines and trauma relief items. Project HOPEADRA InternationalFriends of Disabled Adults and ChildrenRazomUkrainian National Women’s League of AmericaInternational Ministry of Charity EmmanuelPenta MedicalProject HOPE, and House of Ukraine all remain committed to strengthening health systems. Airlink coordinated passenger travel for Global Outreach DoctorsMedGlobal, and Hands on Global who continue to provide necessary primary care, trauma relief, and first aid training to communities in Ukraine and surrounding countries.

Since August, an ongoing airbridge with GlobalMedic has delivered water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to communities across Ukraine and Moldova. Throughout the conflict, millions have been left without access to clean water and at risk of life threatening waterborne diseases.

Despite receding waters, Pakistan continues to face compounding crises following heavy flooding in August and September. The population now faces health related challenges, and shortages of food and medicines. In partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo, Airlink moved over 16,500 eco-blankets with Buddhist Tzu Chi to support sheltering needs of those displaced. With GlobalMedic, Airlink coordinated flights for three responders and a shipment of 1,800 Family Emergency Kits. These kits contain water purification and hygiene supplies, all critically needed for recovering communities that are at high risk for deadly water borne diseases. Airlink supported further cargo shipments on behalf of Convoy of Hope that provided over 150 displaced persons with shelter and brought critical healthcare services to over 10,00 people. In partnership with Air Canada and Virgin Atlantic, Airlink supported GlobalMedic in shipping Family Emergency Kits to 80,000 people in 60 communities across Pakistan’s Sindh province. These kits contained water purification units, hygiene items, and solar lights. With over 100 health facilities destroyed in the floods, these kits were essential in preventing further waterborne diseases.

Haiti – Complex Crisis & Cholera Outbreak

Response

Haiti continues to face a complex and deteriorating humanitarian crisis. Amidst civil unrest, political instability, and hunger, the country is experiencing the first cholera outbreak in nearly three years. In collaboration with USAID/BHA, Airlink has launched an airbridge program to address the significant logistics challenges related to delivering needed supplies. Airlink coordinated airlift for three shipments with partners GlobalMedic, Health Through Walls, and Partners In Health. The movement was supported by The UPS Foundation, which provided first-mile trucking. The shipments provided needed medical supplies, water purification items, and family emergency kits to Haitian hospitals and prisons. In December, two charters were launched, carrying nearly 90 tons of cargo on behalf of the World Health OrganizationCARE HaitiThe Dalton Foundation / Haiti Health NetworkPartners in Health, and Food for the Poor. With generous assistance from Airlink’s partner SEKO Logistics, lactated ringers, PPE, dialysis equipment, disinfectant supplies, water filtration systems, and water purification supplies reached responding agencies.

Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti – USNS Comfort

Preparedness

The USNS Comfort is a 1,000 bed military hospital ship that provides mobile medical care to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide. With support from American Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for 16 Global Outreach Doctors medical volunteers. The volunteers provided a wide range of medical services including cardiology, sexual and reproductive health, dental care, and more. This project reached over 15,000 people in Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.Thanks to donations from American Airlines, Airlink supported flights for Waves for Water’s programming in Mexico. Waves for Water provides water filtration systems and training to communities surrounding San Luis Potosi. These communities rely on shallow contaminated wells and aged faulty municipal water systems, causing high rates of water borne illness and gastrointestinal issues. With the installation of the water filtration systems, access to clean water will decrease instances of preventable diseases.

Mexico – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Systems Strengthening

Preparedness

Thanks to donations from American Airlines, Airlink supported flights for Waves for Water’s programming in Mexico. Waves for Water provides water filtration systems and training to communities surrounding San Luis Potosi. These communities rely on shallow contaminated wells and aged faulty municipal water systems, causing high rates of water borne illness and gastrointestinal issues. With the installation of the water filtration systems, access to clean water will decrease instances of preventable diseases.

Costa Rica – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Systems Strengthening

Preparedness

Thousands of people in Esparza, Costa Rica, lack access to clean water and rely on rainwater for their drinking and sanitation needs. Airlink coordinated the travel for Waves for Water with the help of American Airlines and they were able to provide the last 5,000 community members with access to clean water systems.

Colombia – Flooding

Response

After the winter wave floods, the most vulnerable communities in Cartagena, Colombia are facing a crisis with needs related to food security and healthcare. In partnership with United Airlines, Airlink supported CADENA in providing over 2,500 affected people with a medical brigade that provided them with access to clean water, food aid, and healthcare services.

Guatemala – Climate Challenges 

Preparedness

Over 350,000 smallholder farmers in Guatemala rely on cardamom production as their principal source of income. The process of drying cardamom has led to major challenges including deforestation, increased processing costs, and loss of quality. Engineers Without Borders is working to improve the cardamom industry by developing ways to decrease fuel and firewood consumption while improving the efficiency of cardamom drying which will increase the income of smallholder farms and decrease deforestation. With support from American Airlines, Airlink coordinated flight for Engineers Without Borders to complete their project needs.

Dominica – Sub-Tropical Storm Nicole

Recovery

Heavy rainfall from Sub-Tropical Storm Nicole severely impacted the east of Dominica, resulting in at least one death and over 650 people affected. IsraAID has been active in Dominica since 2017, shortly after Hurricane Maria affected the island. In partnership with American Airlines, Airlink supported IsraAID’s deployment to ramp up their efforts on the island. IsraAID established a Child-Friendly Space in Petite Soufriere and trained facilitators to deliver mental health and psychosocial support to the children.

Mexico – U.S. Border Crisis

Response

With support from American Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for volunteers from NGO partners Global Response Management and Solidarity Engineering. GRM volunteers provide primary and urgent care, women’s health, and COVID testing to migrants. Solidarity Engineering implements and manages infrastructure projects for refugee shelters and WASH facilities along the border.

Palestine – Complex Crisis / Health Systems Strengthening

Preparedness

Research from the World Health Organization indicates that about one in five people living in conflict-affected areas are living with a mental health condition. In the West Bank, chronic violence has severely impacted the mental health of communities, made worse by restrictions and lack of access to health services. In response to this need, Airlink coordinated a shipment of critically needed mental health medicines on behalf of Anera which will be distributed to partners providing psychological support to those in need. Thank you to United Airlines for the free of charge airlift!

Lebanon – Complex Crisis / Health Systems Strengthening

Preparedness

The 2020 port explosion and COVID-19 pandemic has devastated its populations’ access to healthcare services and essential medicines, food security, clean water, and sanitation. In response to this humanitarian crisis, Airlink facilitated Health Partners International of Canada’s generous donation of necessary medicines and medical supplies to 5 hospitals across Beirut. Thanks to the support of Qatar Airways, this shipment served over 500,000 people with the healthcare services they required.

Louisiana, USA – Hurricane Ida

Long-term Recovery

Airlink continues supporting Hurricane Ida recovery programs with NGO partners International Orthodox Christian Charities and NECHAMA. Volunteers are providing rebuilding services and mental health support. Thanks to the support of American Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, Airlink provided flights to 9 volunteers in November and December.

Florida, USA – Hurricane Ian

Recovery

Recovery from Hurricane Ian in Florida continues and is expected to take years. Making landfall as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Ian killed more than 100 people across Florida and damaged thousands of homes and businesses. In November and December, Airlink supported flights for 32 volunteers from NGO partners Operation BBQ ReliefMissions on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity InternationalSBP USATeam Rubicon Canada, and CADENA. This was possible thanks to the ongoing support of airline partners American AirlinesSouthwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

The Democratic Republic of Congo – Extreme Flooding

Response

In the month of December, the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced the worst flooding to hit the country in years. Thousands of people have been left displaced or without access to clean water. Minimal humanitarian intervention has taken place due to the difficulty in accessing the affected population. In partnership with United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for 10 CADENA volunteers providing 150 water filters, medical, and psychosocial support to over 25,000 people. The water filters were installed strategically across the community to account for WASH and ludic activity.

Mozambique – Complex Crisis

Response

Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, houses 734,000 internally displaced persons who have fled terrorist threats across the country. Among this community are 350,000 children who have experienced extreme violence and have lacked safety. Airlink supported the continuation of IsraAID’s Child-Friendly Space and clean water programs in Nicavaco B to keep over 300,000 children safe. Prior to this intervention, there were no long-term humanitarian interventions in the area.In the month of December, the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced the worst flooding to hit the country in years. Thousands of people have been left displaced or without access to clean water. Minimal humanitarian intervention has taken place due to the difficulty in accessing the affected population. In partnership with United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for 10 CADENA volunteers providing 150 water filters, medical, and psychosocial support to over 25,000 people. The water filters were installed strategically across the community to account for WASH and ludic activity.

Nigeria – Health Systems Strengthening

Response

International Medical Corps’ polio immunization project involves community health volunteers going out into various communities to conduct outreach and monitoring activities. These activities are hampered by the rainy season, as community health volunteers cannot conduct their routine activities. Thanks to a shipment of supplies supported by Qatar Airways 1395 Community health volunteers will have the ability to deliver uninterrupted services during the rainy season.

Gabon, Malawi, Uganda – Health Systems Strengthening

Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed inequitable access to medical oxygen around the world. Many health facilities do not have oxygen resources on site, instead having to rely on external sources such as medical oxygen cylinders which are expensive and unreliable when there are spikes in demand. In response to this need, Airlink coordinated three recent shipments with Build Health International to Gabon, Malawi, and Uganda, relying on ocean freight to move the large equipment necessary to install oxygen generation and distribution systems in each country. Once installed, the systems will enable hospitals to meet patient needs for medical oxygen, relieving strain on healthcare workers often required to make difficult decisions to allocate the limited oxygen sources.

South Africa – Health Systems Strengthening

Response

Thanks to the support of United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for the Afya Foundation to Cape Town, South Africa. Millions of senior citizens in Cape Town’s township live in poverty with limited mobility, a lack of quality healthcare, and strained access to basic services. Working alongside local partners, the Afya Foundation supports local, community-driven efforts, providing medical equipment for distribution to elderly populations and those with mobility issues, decreasing injuries while ensuring increased quality of life. All the while, these efforts alleviate overtaxed hospital systems in Cape Town.

Uganda – Ebola Outbreak

Response

The Ebola outbreak that began in September, the country’s deadliest outbreak in more than two decades, has now largely subsided. Airlink’s partners at the Afya Foundation quickly responded to fill critical gaps in personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, which previously left healthcare workers at risk for contracting the virus. Thanks to free of charge airlift from Qatar Airways Cargo, over 670,000 pieces of PPE arrived in Uganda where they will be distributed to health facilities that have been strained during the Ebola response.

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