“Airlink is thrilled to be leading this Commitment to Action, bringing together a wide range of partners from the private sector and civil society to continue to support the ongoing needs of Ukrainians throughout Eastern Europe.”
— Steve Smith, President and CEO of Airlink
As part of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative 2022 Meeting, disaster logistics nonprofit Airlink and its consortium of airlines, freight forwarders, and humanitarian aid organizations have announced a commitment to sending one thousand responders and one thousand tons of humanitarian aid to support Ukrainians’ impact by the Russian invasion.
Sept. 20, 2022 (New York)- – The ‘Commitment to Action’ on behalf of the people of Ukraine titled AviationCARES: Ukraine Response was made at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2022 meeting. The United Nations estimates that almost 18M people will require humanitarian assistance in the coming months, especially as winter approaches. The consortium of airlines, NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and freight forwarders have worked together before through disaster response nonprofit Airlink, which has organized the airlift and delivery of humanitarian relief for Ukraine and other disaster responses worldwide.
President Zelensky of Ukraine spoke to CGI conference attendees via satellite
The response faces myriad challenges, and a wide range of aid is still needed six months on from the start of the war. In Ukraine, access to clean water and hygiene items continues to be disrupted, where sanitation infrastructure has been destroyed, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. Hostilities and infrastructure damage have led to severe supply chain disruptions, resulting in unreliable access to food and essential items; half of all Ukrainians are currently food insecure. Health systems are overwhelmed due to conflict, mass displacement, lack of supplies, and damage or destruction of hospital and clinic buildings. This boost in support to Ukraine and displaced Ukrainians in surrounding countries will increase access to medical and mental health care, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food, protection, and other services through winter and into 2023.
The AviationCARES: Ukraine Response ‘Commitment to Action’ builds on and doubles the amount of aid going to Ukraine through Airlink and its partners. Since February, Airlink and its partners have delivered 559 responders and 572 tons of aid, helping an estimated 3.7 million Ukrainians displaced inside of Ukraine and those in Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
“We are humbled to be able to continue our support for the people affected by the Ukraine crisis through the Clinton Global Initiative. We are also proud to be able to use our freighters to assist in the transport of aid, which includes critical medical and humanitarian supplies via Airlink,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada.
Partners to the AviationCARES: Ukraine Response commitment to mobilize 1,000 responders and 1,000 tons of aid include United Airlines, Air Canada Cargo, Alaska Airlines, Flexport, SEKO Logistics, ISTAT and the ISTAT Foundation, the Tzu Chi Charity Foundation, the UPS Foundation, Convoy of Hope, CORE, Footprint Project, GlobalMedic, MedShare, Project CURE, Project HOPE, Team Rubicon, and World Hope International. The ‘Commitment to Action’ also involves working directly with local nonprofit actors and organizations to empower a locally-driven response and foster closer links between local and external organizations.
Two of the biggest challenges to the effective delivery of aid post-disaster are the costs of transport and management of the supply chain and the coordination of aid so that supply meets the on-the-ground needs. An estimated 60% of the aid sent in emergencies by individuals, corporations, governments, and nonprofit organizations is inappropriate when it arrives in-country. It may not be needed at all and will eventually be destroyed. Additionally, research conducted by the Kuehne Logistics University, HELP Logistics and several NGOs found that between 2005 and 2018, supply chain expenditure averaged 73% of total humanitarian relief expenses. Airlink exists to remove the costs of airlift and transportation for nonprofits responding to humanitarian disasters and to enable coordination and cooperation to happen amongst NGOs at the outset of a response.
“Airlink is thrilled to be leading this Commitment to Action, bringing together a wide range of partners from the private sector and civil society to continue to support the ongoing needs of Ukrainians throughout Eastern Europe,” said Steve Smith, Airlink President and CEO. “In disaster response and logistics, cooperation, collaboration, and utilizing the expertise in the private, NGO and philanthropic sectors is critical. We could always do more with more resources, but without cooperation, we couldn’t achieve anything.”
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI): The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI works with partners to drive action through its unique model. Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.