Airlink in Action: February Update

Airlink in Action: February Update

February 2024 Update: Airlink’s Latest Responses

Afghanistan – Complex Crisis

Response

Afghanistan continues to face the consequences of four decades of conflict, entrenched poverty, and climate-induced crises. In 2024, an estimated 23.7 million people – more than half of Afghanistan’s population –are projected to require humanitarian assistance. Key priorities include providing food aid, safe drinking water, healthcare, education, and addressing acute water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs. In January, Airlink supported the movement of over 11,000 kgs of medical supplies for NGO partner InterSOS. Following years of protracted conflicts and natural disasters, millions of individuals in Afghanistan are deprived of their source of livelihood, thus impacting their ability to access basic healthcare services and other social amenities. InterSOS is providing free health care consultation and medications to these affected individuals. The movement of this critical humanitarian cargo would not have been possible without the support of partners Qatar Airways, Kam Air, and Flexport.org.

Australia – Cyclones Jasper & Kirrily and Regional Flooding

Response

Severe Tropical Cyclone Jasper was the wettest tropical cyclone in Australian history. The third disturbance of the 2023–24 South Pacific cyclone season and the first named storm and severe tropical cyclone of the 2023–24 Australian region cyclone season. On 13 December, Cyclone Jasper made landfall as a Category 2 storm off the eastern coast of the Cape York Peninsula near Wujal Wujal. Severe Tropical Cyclone Kirrily was a long-lived and strong tropical cyclone that affected East Australia and the Northern Territory during January and February 2024. Heavy rainfall was recorded in some areas of Queensland. The remnants of Kirrily fed severe thunderstorms in Southeast Queensland, prompting a superstorm warning. In response, Airlink supported flights for NGO partner Taskforce Kiwi, working closely with Disaster Relief Australia to provide recovery assistance to those who have been impacted by the storms. Thank you to American Airlines for making this response possible.  

Vanuatu – Cyclone Lola

Response

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lola is the strongest off-season tropical cyclone in the history of the Southern Hemisphere. The first tropical cyclone and severe tropical cyclone of the 2023–24 South Pacific cyclone season, Cyclone Lola made landfall in Vanuatu as a Category 5 storm. Cyclone Lola was the third severe tropical cyclone to impact Vanuatu during 2023 after Cyclones Judy and Kevin had impacted the island nation earlier that year. Due to the devastating impacts of the storms, the status of the infrastructural integrity of approximately 200 schools across the islands was unknown and needed to be assessed before the school year could commence, potentially impacting tens of thousands of children. Airlink supported the deployment of three members of NGO partner Taskforce Kiwi. These assessments included access/transport assessments, infrastructure assessments, and structural integrity assessments. 

Ukraine – Conflict & Displacement

Response

In the month of January, Airlink continued supporting flights for humanitarian aid and responders to Ukraine and its neighboring regions thanks to the continued support of our private-sector partners.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has significantly strained the country’s healthcare system, exacerbating existing challenges. Displacement of populations, destruction of infrastructure, and restricted access to medical supplies have intensified the healthcare needs. The conflict has led to increased rates of injuries, trauma, and mental health issues among civilians, placing additional pressure on already stretched healthcare resources.

Thanks to the generous support of LOT Polish Airlines, Airlink coordinated a shipment for PENTA Medical Recycling Corp. consisting of donated orthotics and prosthetics that will help up to 200 people regain mobility. In partnership with United Airlines, Airlink also supported flights for six medical volunteers with MedGlobal and Global Outreach Doctors, who are providing healthcare to civilians on the front lines and training local medical professionals.

Airlink is committed to supporting life-saving and life-sustaining aid programs in Ukraine and the surrounding region for as long as it’s needed.

Haiti – Complex Crisis

Response

Thanks to the support of American Airlines Cargo, Airlink coordinated the shipment of Humanitarian Medical Kits on behalf of Health Partners International of Canada containing essential medicines that will treat up to 6,000 patients throughout the country. In addition, Airlink continues to coordinate flights for the CHF Foundation through donated American Airlines miles in order to support their mobile clinic program, providing critical medical, WASH, and food aid to displaced communities in Cité-Soleil. 

Israel – Gaza 
Response

Airlink has supported flights for 20 responders and over 77 metric tons of cargo on behalf of 10 nonprofit partners to support the medical and mental health needs of civilians during this crisis. Airlink will continue to support all civilian needs throughout the region for as long as humanitarian needs exist. Around 1.7 million people in the Gaza Strip are estimated to be internally displaced, and 2.2 million people require humanitarian aid and are experiencing food insecurity.

Florida, USA – Hurricane Ian 

Recovery

Canada is currently experiencing their largest ever wildfire season on record. In May and June, the province and Nova Scotia battled over 13 wildfires that burned more than 20,000 hectares of land. Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the fires. In parts of the Midwest and Northeast United States, wildfire smoke from Canada has caused a decline in air quality levels.

Team Rubicon Canada and Taskforce Kiwi deployed expert volunteers that are providing debris removal, ash shifting, and home rebuilding and repair. With the generous support of Air Canada and Cathay Pacific, Airlink coordinated flights for 74 volunteers throughout the month of June.

Kenya – WASH Systems Strengthening 

Response

Kenya is grappling with a severe health and food insecurity crisis exacerbated by a combination of factors, including conflict, climate change, and economic instability. Persistent droughts have devastated crops and livestock, leaving millions facing food insecurity and inadequate access to health care. Chronic malnutrition is widespread among both children and adults in the Turkana region of Kenya. This has led to high levels of long-term health issues and reduced resilience to disease.

In partnership with United Airlines, Airlink supported flights for 11 volunteers with International Ministry of Charity Emmanuel, who provided food and medical support to more than 3,257 people in the Turkana and West Pokot regions of Kenya.

Sierra Leone – Health Systems Strengthening

Response

Sierra Leone continues facing a significant health crisis stemming from the country’s fragile healthcare system, history of conflict, and limited resources. The country continues to grapple with high rates of maternal and child mortality, exacerbated by inadequate access to essential healthcare services. Additionally, high rates of infectious diseases are straining an already overburdened healthcare system. In coordination with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and the Mofinko Development Association, International Mutual Aid is providing maternal and neonatal healthcare as well as life-saving medications and access to clean and safe drinking water to the region’s communities. In partnership with Brussels Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for three of IMA’s medical volunteers. 

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