** Cholera Remains Primary Concern in Post-Hurricane Haiti **
WASHINGTON — As health officials warn of a growing cholera epidemic in Haiti, Airlink has sent its first charter flight to the country, delivering more than 100,000 pounds of critical humanitarian aid valued at $1.7 million dollars. The shipment constitutes a coordinated effort between Airlink and five of its NGO partners, and will include hygiene kits, water purification equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical and surgical supplies.
“Haiti is entering a difficult period right now. While the initial hurricane caused devastation to homes and farmland in the affected areas, cholera continues to be a significant concern. These supplies are critical to addressing both the immediate and longer-term needs,” said Steven Smith, Executive Director of Airlink. “Airlink now has a logistics team on the ground that will focus on supporting responding NGOs in their deployments and we are honored to be able to play our part in helping those in need.”
The shipment, which departed from Miami International Airport at 2pm ET for Port-au-Prince, will address the ongoing needs related to emergency medical care as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), with a focus on cholera treatment and mitigation. Airlink, with help from the American Logistics Aid Network and LIFT, coordinated shipments from across the United States, filling an entire Boeing 767 aircraft, flown by AmeriJet. The shipment was made possible through Airlink’s Disaster Response Partnership, which enables Airlink to move quickly to address supply chain issues and drive down logistics costs for NGOs during disasters. The flight includes cargo from five nonprofit partners: Americares, International Medical Corps, MAP International, Medshare, and World Hope International.
During this response, Airlink is actively working with 11 humanitarian aid organizations to support transportation of relief workers and material aid into the affected regions. Over the past two weeks, through partnerships with Avianca, Copa Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and United Airlines, Airlink has sent more than 30 relief workers and saved NGOs nearly $30,000. These responders have been working to provide medical services and WASH supplies, as well as assisting with debris clearance and clean-up. For the first time, Airlink has also deployed two logistics personnel to Haiti, who will work to coordinate needs on the ground and navigate the logistics of transportation and distribution of aid.