A unique partnership between nonprofits and the private sector is bringing relief to survivors of record-breaking floods in the south Indian state of Kerala. Flooding caused by monsoon rains peaking in mid-August caused 483 deaths and displaced more than a million people. Months after the initial disaster, medical infrastructure remains strained as survivors need continued treatment for injuries sustained in the floods, chronic medical conditions and new disease outbreaks.
As part of its mission to mobilize the aviation community in times of disaster, international NGO Airlink partnered with Emirates Sky Cargo and Flexport to move nearly two tons of medical supplies to Kerala.
MedShare, the Airlink nonprofit partner supported by the effort, received the services provided free-of-charge. The medical necessities delivered, including gauze, gloves and other commonly needed surgical supplies, are being used to treat 4,000 patients.
“Airlink has been an invaluable partner in MedShare’s disaster responses,” said Charles Redding, MedShare CEO and president. “In the aftermath of a disaster, every second counts as medical professionals treat patients suffering from critical injuries. During every disaster, including the flooding in Kerala, Airlink has allowed MedShare’s supplies and equipment to reach people in need quickly and efficiently, saving lives in the process.”
Steven J. Smith, president and CEO of Airlink points to the importance of industry support in the organization’s success responding to disasters like the Kerala floods. “Humanitarian logistics is a complex and integral part of delivering emergency cargo,” he said. “Airlink leverages the expertise and assets of the aviation and logistics industries to ensure rapid and efficient humanitarian responses. Our mission would not be possible without the generosity and involvement of companies committed to saving and improving lives.”
Air cargo operator Emirates SkyCargo and freight forwarder Flexport are examples of such companies.
“In response to the call from the leaders of the UAE to support the people of Kerala during the recent floods, Emirates SkyCargo partnered with Airlink to transport relief shipment,” said a company spokesperson. “Overall, the company dedicated a dozen flights to transport 175 tons of relief items for companies and agencies responding to impacted communities.”
Susy Schöneberg, head of Flexport.org, who donated freight forwarding services for the mission, said “Airlink is an invaluable partner during crisis response because of their powerful network and partnerships, and true dedication of their team to enable nonprofits around the world. At Flexport.org, we feel honored to support both Airlink and MedShare as they bring critical medical supplies to the communities impacted by the Kerala disaster.”
In addition to its response to Kerala flooding, Airlink is transporting personnel and emergency supplies for some of its 80 relief organization partners responding to Typhoon Yutu in the Northern Mariana Islands and hurricanes Florence and Michael in the continental U.S. To support Airlink and its effort to bring relief to communities impacted by disasters across the globe, please donate.
Airlink is a global rapid-response disaster and humanitarian relief organization linking pre-qualified nonprofits with partner airlines to transport emergency personnel and supplies. Its network includes more than 80 aid organizations and 40 commercial and charter airlines. Since its inception in 2010, Airlink’s airline partners have flown over 4,000 relief workers and transported more than 3 million pounds of aid cargo. Follow Airlink on Facebook and Twitter.
Flexport.org believes that the complexity and cost of global shipping should never keep nonprofits from doing good. Building on Flexport’s transparent supply chain, they focus on reducing global carbon emissions and providing low-cost logistics solutions for shipments dedicated to the greater good.
Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates, offering cargo capacity on a modern all wide-body fleet of 256 passenger and 14 freighter aircraft. During the last financial year, the carrier transported a total of 2.6 million tonnes across its network of more than 160 destinations.
MedShare is a 501c(3) humanitarian aid organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people, communities, and our planet by sourcing and directly delivering surplus medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. And this year, MedShare is celebrating 20 years of impacting its local and global communities. For more information, please visit the organization’s website at www.medshare.org.