Making the Impossible Possible: The Haiti Humanitarian Airbridge

Making the Impossible Possible: The Haiti Humanitarian Airbridge

Airlink frequently makes the impossible possible for our network of NGO partners. The Haiti Humanitarian Airbridge (HAB) is a multi-month, multi-country, multi-agency program that helped address a deadly cholera outbreak in Haiti. The program was a finalist in Concordia’s 2023 P3 Impact Award.  

Cholera is a dangerous disease in any context, but especially so in the case of Haiti – it affected nearly every corner of the country. Mainly stemming from a lack of safe, clean water and sanitation, the way it spreads so easily, it can quickly turn complex humanitarian disasters into fatal pandemics that sweep through a population. Worse still, it most acutely impacts children. 

The Haiti Humanitarian Air Bridge is a public-private partnership developed and managed by humanitarian logistics NGO Airlink, financed by USAID/BHA, and resourced by commercial aviation and logistics companies, including American Airlines, Amerijet, SEKO Logistics, and the UPS Foundation. 

The project was born out of serious logistics and transportation challenges faced by NGOs responding to a rapidly growing cholera outbreak in Haiti—a country that had suffered widespread gang violence, a reduction in the frequency of commercial flights since the COVID-19 pandemic, and insufficient recovery progress in the face of several major disasters in the last 13 years.

The usual sea-focused supply chains for medicines and medical supplies were severely constrained due to the primary seaport’s closure, and ongoing gang violence made transit between the ports and program areas difficult; many containers with needed supplies were stuck for months due to the blockades.

In the case of Haiti, the closure of seaports and restricted and high-cost air transport options left NGOs with no viable, affordable options to transport the supplies necessary to sustain the emergency response to the cholera outbreaks.  

The Haiti Airbridge was a huge undertaking, spanning multiple countries and multiple organizations run over 6 months. It was a complex logistical program with many moving parts organized by Airlink with the help of funding from USAID and BHA as well as in-kind donations from Airlink’s partners and donors American Airlines, SEKO Logistics, and the UPS Foundation.

It provided a lifeline to the people of Haiti that not only dealt with a cholera outbreak but prevented that outbreak from becoming a deadly pandemic. 

In all, ten NGOs were able to get their aid into Haiti, where previously they couldn’t, and together we delivered over 232 tons of humanitarian aid over 29 shipments. The airbridge brought clean water to thousands directly treating 45,000 cholera patients and saving thousands more lives. 

Picture of Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

Andrew is Airlink's Director of Communications.

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Making the Impossible Possible: The Haiti Humanitarian Airbridge

Airlink frequently makes the impossible possible. The Haiti Airbridge is a great example. This month Airlink was a finalist in the Concordia P3 Awards highlighting the power of public and private sector partnerships to change peoples lives. Find out more on this unique program.