4/4/2018

President Clinton Applauds Airlink Commitments to Disaster Preparedness and Response

Airlink joins commitments to preposition relief efforts and transport school nurses for Caribbean recovery

MIAMI -- Former President Bill Clinton commended humanitarian response nonprofit Airlink and other organizations for their Commitments to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network Post-Disaster Recovery launch Tuesday.

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“I think they’ve made a remarkable commitment,” Clinton said of Airlink and other organizations’ dedication to prepare for disaster response. “They’ll work together to establish new supply chains to enhance preparedness.“

CGI Commitments to Action address significant global challenges - in this case, ongoing hurricane recovery in the Caribbean. Airlink’s CGI Commitment to lead its airlines and nonprofit partners to pre-position relief supplies and provide logistical support in the Caribbean directly aligns with its newly developed Regional Response Plans. Through six regional plans, including Caribbean/Latin America, Airlink is effectively increasing regional preparedness and coordination of disaster response.

Airlink’s second Commitment to Action is with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Nurses and Health Professionals and will bring 24 school nurses to USVI to screen 9,000 children between April 8th and 14th.

“This is a big deal,” Clinton said. “The storm affected classrooms and learning environments ... including health screenings and onsite care from nurses and healthcare workers. There has been an even bigger shortage of school nurses since the storm.”

AFT nurses traveling to USVI thanks to donated Airlink-arranged flights from JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines, will support mounting student healthcare needs by administering preventative health screenings, developmental screenings, and routine dental and eye care.

“The success of our recovery has been directly supported by partnerships,” said Carol Callwood, President of St. Thomas-St. John Federation of Teachers. “Providing transportation to the territory is an integral part of this project, our heartfelt gratitude is extended.”

Following the 2017 hurricanes, Airlink worked with seven airline partners and more than 25 nonprofits to deliver 120,000+ pounds of aid cargo and 150+ relief workers. Six months later, Airlink and its aviation partners continue working to support long term recovery needs and promote regional sustainability.

“This Commitment to Action is a meaningful step toward helping the Caribbean region recover,” said Airlink President and CEO Steven J. Smith. “We’re honored to be partnering with AFT as they focus on bringing preventative healthcare measures to thousands of children and we’re grateful to our airline partners for recognizing the ongoing needs in this region.”

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Airlink is a nonprofit connecting humanitarian NGOs and the aviation sector to deliver disaster responders and supplies in the wake of natural disasters and other crises worldwide. To support Airlink or learn more, visit airlinkflight.org.

The American Federation of Teachers Nurses and Health Professionals is a division of AFT and represents more than 112,000 health professionals. Learn more or donate: AFT Nurses and Health Professionals.

For more information or accompanying materials, please contact Communications Manager Lindsay Cobb at (304) 266-7626 or at lcobb@airlinkflight.org.