September 2022 Partner Update: Airlink’s Latest Operations
- Airlink’s Ukraine Response: 6-Month Report – In the first six months of the conflict in Ukraine, Airlink has moved nearly 600 tons of critical aid and more than 500 responders to Ukraine and the surrounding countries. To read Airlink’s Ukraine Response 6-Month Report, click here.
Qatar Airways Partner Renewal – Airlink is thrilled to announce the renewal of our partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo. The three-year pledge of 500 tons of cargo space will be used to provide airlift for our 130+ partners responding to humanitarian crises around the world.
Ukraine 6 Months and Beyond Webinar – Airlink will be hosting a webinar to provide an update on Airlink’s response in Ukraine and discuss plans to support long-term crisis relief efforts and the ways the war is having a knock-on effect on programs around the world. Register for the webinar here.
Pakistan Flooding Coodination Call – Airlink is inviting its nonprofit partners to participate in a coordination call in response to the devastating floods in Pakistan, scheduled for Tuesday, September 6th from 9:00 to 10:00 AM EST. RSVP for the call here and read Airlink’s Situation Report here.
ALAN Presents: Trucking Market Insights For Peak Hurricane Season – Join American Logistics Aid Network and Truckstop.com’s Brent Hutto for a conversation on what the transportation market looks like as the peak of hurricane season 2022 approaches. Register for the webinar here.
Response: Ukraine and Moldova – War and Refugee Crisis
Over six months since the war in Ukraine began, the need for humanitarian assistance continues as conditions for civilians throughout the country remain dire. Across the region, OCHA reports 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need, including 6.6 million who are internally displaced. Communities in southern and eastern Ukraine are particularly vulnerable, as intense fighting threatens civilian lives and blocks access to humanitarian aid. These hostilities continue to damage infrastructure and disrupt supply chains, leaving civilians without reliable access to pharmaceuticals, food, clean water, and basic supplies.
Airlink’s operations remain active and continue to meet the needs of those affected by the conflict, thanks to the generosity and support of our partners at Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Amerijet, British Airways, Flexport.org, Priority Worldwide Service, SEKO Logistics, United Airlines, UPS Foundation, and Virgin Atlantic.
Airlink’s response to the war in Ukraine has quickly become its largest. In August alone, Airlink supported flights for 28 passengers and coordinated transportation logistics for 100 tons of cargo, in turn expanding community access to healthcare, WASH, nutrition, shelter, and protection. Thus far, these programs have benefitted nearly 4 million civilians in 82 communities in the region, providing life-saving and life-sustaining support to those in need. Airlink is committed to supporting humanitarian needs through this response, as long as needs continue.
Moldova – Intensified fighting over the past month led to increased population movement from Ukraine into Moldova. Airlink’s NGO partner World of Giving has been working closely with the Moldovan Ministry of Health since the start of the war to meet gaps in access to essential items. Last month, with Airlink’s support, a shipment containing over 25 thousand pounds of baby wipes was distributed to refugee families with young children by the ministry. In addition, Airlink continues to provide passenger and cargo support for IsraAID and GlobalMedic’s operations in the country, distributing emergency relief kits containing food, hygiene, and shelter items.
Ukraine – Airlink remains committed to supporting humanitarian operations throughout Ukraine as communities grapple with 6 months of ongoing fighting. Throughout the last month, Airlink supported cargo and passenger movements for NGO partners working closely with local actors to ensure humanitarian needs across all sectors are being met.
- Medevac services are severely constrained, especially in areas experiencing intense fighting. NGO partners Global Outreach Doctors, Global Response Management, and International Medical Relief have continued to provide frontline emergency support, maternal healthcare, and delivery of pharmaceutical supplies. Organizations have focused on increasing local capacity with joint training for local medical staff on specialized trauma medical care.
- Hospitals across the country continue to be overrun and under-supported as supply chain challenges have disrupted medical aid delivery. Airlink continues to support cargo movements to supply hospitals with needed medical supplies and equipment. Shipments on behalf of partners LifeBox and Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) of pulse oximeters, incubators, and additional medical supplies supported partner facilities and care centers. Airlink additionally supported several shipments of medical supplies for NGO partner Razom. Their in-country partner, The National Agency for Humanitarian Aid Zdorovi, coordinates with hospitals across the country to ensure equitable distribution of requested items.
- The overwhelming demand at hospitals in Ukraine has led to more families treating injuries at home. Shipments of first aid kits coordinated on behalf of Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and GlobalMedic provided the essentials to minimize infection to families without reliable access to medical care.
- Communications infrastructure is critical in a response for both responders and civilians to remain in contact and informed. A shipment of cables and telecom equipment from Airlink’s partner Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) arrived this month to rebuild the communications infrastructure.
- As regions experience increased fighting, both professional and volunteer emergency responders are called on, but are not always equipped with the gear required. Airlink supported a GlobalMedic shipment of firefighting equipment that was distributed in areas impacted by Russian shelling to increase capacity for safe emergency response.
- Half of all Ukrainians are currently food insecure as hostilities lead to unreliable access to food and other essentials. A shipment with Shelters International Disaster Relief of dehydrated soup kits will provide 1.3 million nutritious meals for food insecure families displaced within Ukraine. In addition, Airlink is coordinating movement for shipments of GlobalMedic’s Family Emergency Food kits that contain healthy, culturally appropriate dried pantry staples as well as point-of-use water purification tabs. These Family Emergency Kits contain essential hygiene items, such as soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, as well as solar lights that can extend light access when electricity is unavailable.
- 13 million people in Ukraine are identified as needing WASH assistance. Lack of access to clean water leaves community members at an increased risk of water-borne diseases. NGO partner Convoy of Hope is addressing this gap in service by sending water filters to communities with unreliable access to clean water.
- The war’s impact on the well-being of children is significant. At the beginning of this school year, the 4 million school-aged children in Ukraine are in need of continued child-space support. Airlink coordinated a shipment of sports equipment on behalf of Convoy of Hope to be used at sports-focused camps serving kids impacted by conflict. Spaces for displaced children are essential to maintain a sense of normalcy within the war, allowing kids to acclimate back into some aspects of normal life.
Response: Mexico – Migrant Crisis
Thanks to the support of American Airlines, Airlink supported flights for four medical team members to staff Global Response Management’s clinics in Reynosa and Tapachula. The clinics serve migrants living in temporary shelters in both cities, providing primary and urgent care, women’s health, and COVID testing. The teams also provide health consultations pertinent to migrant legal cases.
Response: Colombia – Health Systems Strengthening
The Colombian city Cucuta, home to 700,000 people, sits on the border with Venezuela. The city is the first stop for thousands of Venezuelan migrants. Upon arrival, migrants don’t have easy access to healthcare services. Airlink is proud to have supported flights for two community health workers to support MedGlobal’s program in Cucuta. Their medical intervention provides primary and specialty care for both Colombian IDPs and Venezuelan migrants, reaching 300 members of the community with specialized healthcare consultations, delivery of medications, point-of-care ultrasounds, and laboratory tests.
Response: Guatemala – Water, Sanitation, and Health Systems Strengthening
Thanks to the support of American Airlines, Airlink supported flights for five team members with Veterans Without Orders to continue their long-term response in Livingston, Guatemala. Poor water conditions result in high levels of cholera, typhoid, and dysentery in the community. The team distributed Sawyer PointOne filters which eliminate 99.9% of protozoan parasites and bacteria. The filters improve the health of those recipients by reducing gastrointestinal infections commonly seen in unfiltered water sources.
Preparedness: United Arab Emirates – Disaster Preparedness
Thanks to the support of American Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for two NetHope team members. The team pre-positioned emergency telecommunications equipment at UN Humanitarian Response Depot facilities in Dubai, ready to be deployed within 48 hours into a disaster-affected area. In a disaster, the equipment is used by responders to coordinate their efforts and the affected population to access relevant response information and stay in contact with family members.
Recovery: Iraq – Health Systems Strengthening
In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, healthcare systems are struggling to meet the needs of over 260,000 Syrian refugees and over 780,000 internally displaced people hosted in the community. Health Partners International of Canada provides ongoing support to the region, where regular shipments of Humanitarian Medical Kits are distributed through a vast local network of refugee camp clinics and hospitals left devastated by ongoing conflicts and lack of medicine. Thanks to the support of Qatar Airways, Airlink coordinated a shipment of 8 skids of Humanitarian Medical Kits to northern Iraq that will provide about 24,000 full courses of medical treatment to those in need.
Response: Kentucky, USA – Flood Response
In late July, a series of storms caused extreme flooding in areas of the Central Appalachia region of the United States. At least 38 people died and thousands of residents lost their homes as a result of the floods. In partnership with American Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink has supported flights for 55 responders from NGO partners Inspiritus, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Operation BBQ Relief, Team Rubicon, Team Rubicon Canada, and ToolBank to the region, providing muck-and-gut services, clean water, emotional support, and hot meals to residents affected by the floods.
Recovery: California, USA – Wildfire Recovery
With support from Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink coordinated flights for four Project:Camp team members who set up a pop-up camp for children and families impacted by the McKinney Wildfire in Northern California. The pop-up camp provided essential continuity of childcare in the immediate days following an evacuation or disaster. The camp in Yreka, California provided a space for kids to be kids in the middle of the disaster while also giving parents time to do any work they need to rebuild.
Recovery: Louisiana, USA – Hurricane Ida Recovery
August 26th marked one year since Hurricane Ida formed and became the second most damaging hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana. Airlink continues providing flights for International Orthodox Christian Charities and NECHAMA volunteers to the area. Thanks to the support of American Airlines and United Airlines, Airlink provided flights to six volunteers that were on the ground helping rebuild homes and providing emotional support to families affected by the storm.
Response: Uganda – Flood Response
On July 30th, communities in eastern Uganda received 10 hours of continuous rainfall resulting in flash flooding and landslides that affected an estimated 20,000 people. WASH interventions were a major focus of the immediate response as standing water puts communities at a higher risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Thanks to the support of American Airlines, Airlink was able to coordinate flights for five members of CADENA’s rapid response team, who provided stop-gap measures in the affected areas. The team conducted a holistic response by distributing water filtration and hygiene kits and cleaning supplies, coordinated food voucher distribution for vulnerable groups, and provided shelter supplies to homes destroyed by flood waters.
Response: Zimbabwe – Health Systems Strengthening
Thanks to free of charge cargo movement on Qatar Airways, Airlink coordinated the shipment of 8 skids of solar suitcases to Zimbabwe on behalf of We Care Solar. The solar suitcases will be distributed to health centers, equipping them with reliable electricity. Since the Light Every Birth initiative was launched in Zimbabwe, We Care Solar has distributed solar suitcases to nearly 1,000 health centers, increasing the capacity of facilities to provide maternal care.