June 2023 Partner Update: Airlink’s Latest Operations
Guam – Typhoon Mawar
Typhoon Mawar was the strongest storm to impact Guam in over 20 years as it passed just north of the island on May 24 as a Category-4 equivalent typhoon – making it the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2023 thus far. Guam was declared a major disaster area on May 27, with damage assessments estimated at USD$112 million. Following the impact of the storm, Airlink supported flights for three members of Team Rubicon in partnership with United Airlines. These volunteers traveled to Guam to assess the situation on the island and the needs of vulnerable communities as well as contribute to clean-up and restoration efforts.
Bangladesh – Rohingya Refugee Crisis
Airlink continues to support MedGlobal’s program in Bangladesh. In May, Airlink provided transportation for one volunteer, thanks to continuous support from American Airlines. MedGlobal volunteers train local midwives who work in the Cox’s Bazar Refugee Camp on neonatal resuscitation, with the goal of reducing newborn and maternal mortality rates.
Ukraine – Conflict & Displacement
As the War in Ukraine continues, Airlink remains committed to supporting NGO partners and their response efforts in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Last month, Airlink continued to support life-sustaining and life-affirming programs, thanks to the generous and sustained support from partners at American Airlines, Air Canada Cargo, SEKO Logistics, LOT Polish Airlines, and United Airlines.
Throughout the month of May, fighting continued to intensify across Ukraine. The conflict has heavily impacted civilians who have remained in the country and 5.4 million people are
internally displaced. According to Ukrainian authorities, nearly a third of the country is contaminated with explosives. The mine contamination is a security concern for returning civilians as well as humanitarians responding in affected regions. Despite the challenges, Airlink’s NGO partners continue to support impacted populations with critically needed aid in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. During the month of May, Airlink coordinated transportation for over 45 tons of relief commodities to Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania.
Escalating hostilities continue to threaten the security of humanitarian workers operating close to the front lines of the conflict. Airlink supported a shipment of bulletproof vests on behalf of Global Response Medicine to protect Ukrainian health workers operating in conflict areas from indirect and small arms fire.
Airlink continues to provide support to GlobalMedic’s programs in Ukraine and Romania. In May, our team supported the movement of 24 tonnes of Family Emergency Kits. The kits contain critical supplies, including a water purification solution and basic hygiene items. The supplies provide support for refugee and internally displaced communities impacted by the war.
Hospitals and healthcare workers continue to be targeted by hostilities. In May, the World Health Organization verified the 1,000th attack on the country’s healthcare system. The warfare on healthcare institutions prevents communities from receiving critical assistance, while additionally deteriorating the healthcare system’s ability to provide long-term care for those with chronic illnesses. Airlink NGO partners Be an Angel, International Ministry of Charity Emmanuel, and Razom remain dedicated to providing support to medical institutions in Ukraine. This month, Airlink supported cargo movements for shipments of personal protective equipment, medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment arriving at hospitals and clinics.
In addition, Airlink supported Child Life Disaster Relief’s team of professional child life specialists in their program with a Ukrainian orphanage, focusing on mitigating stress and providing coping mechanisms for children in the midst of the trauma. Airlink provided airlift support for a shipment of trauma-informed care materials to supplement the care provided.
Airlink also continues supporting passenger flights for volunteers providing healthcare, WASH, and training on the frontlines and in surrounding countries. Thanks to the generous support of our donors and airline partners, Airlink coordinated flights for volunteers with Global Response Medicine, International Ministry of Charity Emmanuel, and MedGlobal.
Mexico – U.S. Border Crisis
Airlink continues to support Solidarity Inc.’s programming on the US/Mexico Border thanks to the ongoing support of United Airlines. The supported program works to address the play and WASH needs of the refugee populations by building a playground and clean water infrastructure in Reynosa and Matamoros.
Ecuador – Venezuelan Refugee Response
Ecuador currently hosts around 500,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees requiring medical services. The country is also facing high rates of malnutrition in children and a public health sector with limited health staff, medications, and supplies. In response to this, MedGlobal is providing direct medical services to refugee communities in the Santa Elena Province in Ecuador. With support from American Airlines, Airlink provided travel for one medical volunteer.
Dominican Republic – Health Systems Strengthening
The neonatal mortality rate in the Dominican Republic is among the highest in the region. Through their ongoing support programs, Project HOPE addresses the gap in care for low-income expecting mothers. Thanks to the support from Avianca Cargo, Airlink supported a shipment of prenatal vitamins that will benefit 3,000 expectant mothers in the Provinces of La Vega and Santo Domingo.
In the three months since the earthquakes hit Gaziantep Province and devastated communities across Türkiye and Syria, Airlink has continued to respond by coordinating cargo relief flights for NGO partners. Over 10 million civilians remain in need of lifesaving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance following the destruction to Southern Türkiye and Northwestern Syria. The need remains high as fundraising efforts become more difficult across the humanitarian aid community.
In partnership with Water Survival Box and International Medical Corps, Airlink coordinated the transport of 10 pallets of essential household items. This aid will support over 5,000 families in Hatay access clean drinking water, light sources, and kitchen items while the country is rebuilt. Thank you to MNG Airlines for their ongoing support throughout Airlink’s emergency response in Türkiye.
Airlink was also able to support the movement of solar lamps to Southern Türkiye on behalf of NGO partner Japan Platform. With the support of Qatar Airways, over 300 families will have access to a light source in temporary shelters and IDP camps in the worst-affected region in the country.
To date, Airlink has coordinated the movement of 1,000 metric tons of cargo into provinces across Türkiye and Syria. Airlink is currently supporting a pipeline of approximately 10 metric tons of needed relief supplies to Syria that is expected to serve tens of thousands of refugees and IDPs in the region.
Iraq – Refugee Crisis / Health Systems Strengthening
Iraq remains in a state of socio-economic recovery following years of conflict, with nearly 300,000 refugees in acute need of life-sustaining services. In partnership with Health Partners International of Canada, and with airlift from Qatar Airways, Airlink coordinated transport for 20 Humanitarian Medical Kits to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. These kits contain medicines and supplies not readily accessible in the region and will provide over 6,000 primary care treatments to refugees and IDPs while the healthcare system continues to be rebuilt.
Lebanon – Complex Crisis / Health Systems Strengthening
The ongoing economic collapse in Lebanon has left over 70% of the population in Lebanon without essential services such as access to medical care and supplies, food, and WASH. On behalf of NGO partner Convoy of Hope and with the support of Qatar Airways, Airlink coordinated a shipment of 18 pallets of hygiene kits, hygiene dignity kits, and baby care kits. These kits were delivered to a local partner in Beirut where the goods will be distributed to communities in need, and reaching an estimated 18,000 civilians.
Louisiana, USA – Hurricane Ida Long-Term Recovery
In partnership with United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, Airlink continues providing support to NECHAMA’s Hurricane Ida recovery program. NECHAMA volunteers are working to help affected communities in Louisiana recover from the devastating hurricane by providing cleanup and rebuilding services.
Florida, USA – Hurricane Ian Long-Term Recovery
Communities in Florida continue recovering from Hurricane Ian which left thousands of homes damaged. Airlink coordinated flights for 3 volunteers with Inspiritus and Missions on Wheels thanks to ongoing support from United Airlines and American Airlines.
Malawi – Cyclone Freddy
Tropical Cyclone Freddy made landfall in Madagascar and Zimbabwe on February 21st before turning back to sea and making a second landfall in Mozambique and Malawi on March 11th. The storm caused widespread destruction in Malawi, leading the government to issue an international call for assistance. More than 500,000 people are displaced as a result of heavy rains. Malawi has been experiencing the worst cholera outbreak in recent history. Displaced individuals are sheltering in overcrowded sites across the country, significantly increasing the risk of cholera and other water-borne diseases. Critical needs include WASH services, shelter, healthcare, and protection. Airlink continues to coordinate flights for IsraAID’s emergency response team that is delivering WASH support to help reduce the spread of cholera in cyclone-affected areas.
In addition to coordinating transportation for humanitarian personnel, Airlink continues to support cargo transport on behalf of our NGO partners. In partnership with Health Partners International of Canada and SOS International, Airlink facilitated cargo movement for 4 tons of critically needed relief supplies to Malawi with generous support from Air Canada Cargo and United Airlines respectively.
SOS International is working with local partners to fill critical gaps in access to essential items such as nutritional and medical supplies. The shipment is expected to reach 11,000 people, providing children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses with access to reliable assistance. Health Partners International of Canada continues to support Malawi’s already overwhelmed healthcare system with shipments of Humanitarian Medical Kits. These kits help replenish medicines in health facilities across impacted regions, and are essential in curbing the spread of cholera and preventable diseases in the wake of Cyclone Freddy.