India is trying to deal with an unprecedented COVID-19 surge. Currently, there are over 18 million confirmed COVID cases in India and 208,330 deaths. Worse still, experts believe this accounts for just 3% of the cases. WHO reports that India currently accounts for 40% of global cases. There are potentially-fatal shortages of oxygen, oxygen related medical equipment, PPE, testing materials, vaccinations and related raw materials for production, pharmaceutical therapies, and hospital beds/space for patients.
Responding NGOs are requesting Airlink provide tactical coordination and help to break through supply chain barriers to execute rapid-response airlifts of humanitarian aid.
Right now, Airlink has over 13 shipments on behalf of 11 NGOs that we are trying to move into India – orientating from Canada, US, China, and the UK, with destinations in Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. Of course, all of these destinations are FAR apart, which will make the consolidation of shipments difficult, and cross-border transport within India is very difficult and political.
Much of the aid cargo Airlink is being asked to move relates to the desperate need for oxygen, PPE, and general medical supplies to increase hospital capacity. To make these transports possible and happen swiftly, Airlink has activated its network of more than 130 NGOs and 50+ airline partners.
As the crisis continues to worsen under catastrophic conditions, Airlink is actively seeking funding partners to address the increased demand for its services. In the first instance, we have started an appeal seeking $300,000 to meet the expected increase in demand for flights.
As well as the movement of responders and cargo, Airlink has a critical role as a convenor and organizing force in both the nonprofit disaster relief world and aviation sector. We consider the spreading of best practices and the building of capacity and knowledge within the nonprofit and NGO sector critical to improving disaster responses and saving lives and rebuilding communities as quickly as possible in the aftermath of disasters. Airlink’s programs team is in daily contact with the airlines and air cargo carriers, and our nonprofit partners to coordinate responses.
Airlink has developed a methodology for managing disaster responses across the globe called the Regional Response Framework. These frameworks aim to manage crises effectively and efficiently. In response to the surge in COVID-19 in India, Airlink initiated the Regional Response Frameworks for the Asia-Pacific Region. You can find out more about Airlink’s Regional Response Framework here.