Airlink in Action: April Update

Airlink in Action: April Update

April 2024 Update: Airlink’s Latest Responses

Read the latest update from Airlink to see the tangible impact of your support, which ensures humanitarian personnel and critical aid supplies reach those who need it most. Discover the nonprofit partners and communities we’re helping together with the generous assistance of our airline partners and sponsors. As the demand for Airlink’s services grows worldwide, your continued support of our mission is invaluable — thank you!

Australia – South Pacific Cyclone Season

Preparedness

Following natural disasters including floods, cyclones and tsunamis, critical items such as tarpaulins and hygiene kits are scarce. Additionally, during a disaster, floodwaters, mud, and debris can all greatly increase the presence of bacteria and germs and can drastically reduce access to clean water. Therefore, hygiene kits are critical to prevent the spread of illnesses and diseases, and tarpaulins can also provide emergency shelter after homes and other critical buildings are damaged during an emergency. With the support of Korean Air, Airlink provided logistics services for CARE Australia, moving over 11 metric tons of aid supplies, containing tarpaulins and hygiene kits, to Brisbane, Australia, for pre-positioning in anticipation of regional storms and cyclones.

Pakistan – Floods

Recovery 

Areas of Pakistan are still struggling during recovery from the monsoons of 2022, with the 2023 flooding delaying recovery. Relief and recovery have been slower than anticipated, and aid continues to be necessary to ensure those affected by the flooding recover successfully. This cargo has provided 3,000 displaced families with water filtration devices for daily use and assists in their ongoing recovery. Airlink, with the support of Turkish Airlines, facilitated the movement of this aid on behalf of Wine to Water to Pakistan for long-term recovery from the record-breaking floods in 2022.

Vanuatu – Cyclone Lola

Recovery 

Airlink partner Taskforce Kiwi continues to support relief efforts in communities impacted by Tropical Cyclone Lola, which hit Vanuatu in October 2023. Significant damage to civilian infrastructure remains, requiring assessments to identify necessary repairs. In March, Airlink supported flights for three members of Taskforce Kiwi to provide critical infrastructure assessments to schools in outer island communities so children can safely return to school.

Ukraine – Conflict & Displacement

Response

More than two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, Airlink continues providing transportation and logistics support to NGO partners responding to the ongoing humanitarian needs in Ukraine and surrounding countries.

In March, Airlink supported flights for 13 humanitarian personnel in partnership with NGO partners Global Care Force and Protez Hub. Over 80% of the healthcare providers in Ukraine have either evacuated from the country or are now assisting at the frontlines. Global Care Force’s medical volunteers are providing healthcare services to over 500 patients across Ukraine each month through their mobile medical clinics. Protez Hub continues organizing training on effective technologies and techniques for fitting bilateral upper limb amputees who need specialized support. These programs were made possible thanks to United Airlines’ generous support.

Airlink is actively coordinating airlifts for relief and recovery supplies, including an ongoing airbridge in partnership with GlobalMedic. This initiative is made possible through the support of Air Canada Cargo and the Flexport.org Fund. The airbridge facilitates weekly shipments of essential water, sanitation, and hygiene items to internally displaced populations in Ukraine. In partnership with American Airlines, CargoJet, SEKO Logistics, and Priority Worldwide, Airlink also supported partners MedShare and Shelters International Disaster Response’s continued programs, providing medical supplies and food security to affected communities.

Colombia – Venezuela Migrant Crisis 

Response

Thanks to the continued support of Avianca, Airlink supported flights for two members of the MedGlobal medical team centered on delivering complimentary medical assistance to at-risk Venezuelan migrants and underserved communities in Cucuta, Colombia. Comprising volunteer physicians with diverse specialties such as General Medicine, Family Medicine, and Internal Medicine, MedGlobal successfully provided primary care consultations, medications, and essential supplies to 892 beneficiaries.

Gaza – Humanitarian Crisis
Response

In response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Airlink has coordinated transportation for over 140 tons of critically needed relief supplies in partnership with 12 NGO partners to support the immense needs across the region. This includes medicines, medical supplies, shelter items, durable medical equipment, and water, sanitation, and hygiene kits with delivery to emergency response programs throughout the region supporting emergency needs in Gaza, displaced populations in nearby countries, and regional cargo pre-positioning.

Last year, Airlink facilitated a charter operation in partnership with International Medical Corps (IMC) to establish a field hospital in Gaza, which has since significantly increased the availability of medical care. This month, Airlink coordinated our second charter operation with IMC which will quadruple their capacity. As health infrastructure in Gaza dwindles, patients are being redirected to the IMC hospital where their staff have been able to serve over 27,000 people so far. Airlink also supports their operation with the transportation of shelter items, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, and nutrition items. Additionally, Airlink continues to support passenger travel for IMC medical personnel to staff their field hospital.

In March, Airlink also set our air bridge program in motion in partnership with Heart to Heart International and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Airlink will be coordinating the movement of 246 pallets of urgently-needed hygiene kits and feminine hygiene products. With the majority of health infrastructure in Gaza destroyed, the acute lack of water, and overcrowding, the need for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies is immense. This airbridge will alleviate the hygiene needs of more than 54,000 people in need, particularly that of women and girls.

In addition to the movement of aid, Airlink has secured passenger travel for more than 57 humanitarian personnel in support of partner responses, providing emergency medical care, coordination surge capacity, aid distribution, assessment expertise, and additional specialties. The generous support of Airlink’s airline, logistics, and funding partners have made these operations possible. With this support, Airlink remains committed to support civilians and active partners for as long as humanitarian needs persist.  

Texas – Wildfires
Response 

On February 26, 2024, the rapidly spreading Smokehouse Creek Fire ignited in Texas’ Panhandle. The fire burned over 1 million acres, making it the largest wildfire in Texas history. Simultaneously, at least five other significant wildfires ignited across Northern Texas and Oklahoma. In partnership with American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, Airlink supported flights for 11 responders with NGO partners GlobalMedic and Inspiritus. Skilled volunteers with Inspiritus provided rescue and recovery to at least 150 people and managed donations and cleanup operations in the area. GlobalMedic staff helped install firefighting skids with water tanks, pumps, and hoses that were used to increase firefighting capacity in smaller municipalities.

Florida, USA – Hurricane Ian 

Recovery

In 2022, Hurricane Ian left massive devastation in Southwest Florida, destroying thousands of homes and livelihoods. Airlink’s partner network remains committed to supporting affected communities’ health and shelter needs. In March, Airlink coordinated flights for volunteers with International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and Inspiritus who provide psychosocial support and free-of-charge home rebuilding services to affected communities. The ongoing support of American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines is crucial in maintaining long-term recovery programs in Florida.

Zambia – Cholera Outbreak

Response

With generous support from Qatar Airways Cargo and the Flexport.org Fund, Airlink facilitated a shipment of Family Emergency Kits to Zambia in partnership with GlobalMedic. These kits contain a household water purification kit, hygiene items, and a solar light and will be distributed to communities most impacted by ongoing cholera outbreaks. Rainy season and related flooding will continue to impact sanitation conditions, access to clean water and WASH facilities, leaving communities vulnerable.

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