Transportation Providers Step Up to Aid Haiti’s Hurricane Victims
Aircraft charter specialist Air Charter Service has been busy recently arranging both cargo and passenger charter flights to Haiti, which was badly affected by Hurricane Matthew earlier this month.
More than 30 tons of critical aid is on the ground and in the hands of relief workers in Haiti thanks to work done by FedEx. FedEx Corp. delivered the emergency supplies on board two charter flights last week to provide assistance to the people and communities affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The winds were one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent years and left at least 1,300 people dead and more than 35,000 homeless in Haiti alone.
“Our first charter to the country was on a passenger aircraft, carrying teams to assess the situation, coordinate the humanitarian effort on the ground and help in the distribution of the relief shipments,” said Justin Lancaster, ACS’s group commercial director. “Since then we have also sent cargo aircraft from Europe carrying a variety of aid equipment, including medicine, mosquito nets, and tarpaulins, as well as jerry cans and buckets for clean water to help those that have no roof over their heads any more.”
FedEx supported these disaster relief efforts through its humanitarian organization relationships with Direct Relief, International Medical Corps and Heart to Heart International. These organizations have medical staff and disaster relief supplies pre-positioned in the region.
“The devastating reality is people in Haiti are relying on the delivery of humanitarian aid for life’s most basic necessities,” said Jenny Robertson, director of Global Citizenship and Reputation Management at FedEx. “The FedEx network and our people who power it are equipped to deliver these critical supplies where they’re needed most.”
FedEx has worked with Direct Relief for more than a decade to deliver medical resources during times of disaster. The organization’s aid filled a charter flight that took off from the Memphis World Hub and arrived in Port-au-Prince. Supplies included medication, medical equipment, hygiene kits and tents that can be used as pop-up health facilities.
“Hurricane Matthew dealt a doubly cruel blow to Haiti, causing tragic loss of life and vastly increased risks and harm while at the same time damaging the health facilities and infrastructure critical to responding,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO, Direct Relief. “That’s why an aggressive, targeted response is so important and why FedEx’s leadership to take care of the transportation barrier is such a critically important step.”
A second charter flight landed in Haiti , filled with 35,000 pounds of relief supplies from International Medical Corps and Heart to Heart International. Together with these two organizations, FedEx delivered 11,000 hygiene kits, medicines and medical supplies.
“The humanitarian aid includes more than 11,000 personal hygiene kits that will be distributed to the people in Haiti where HHI is providing medical care,” said Jim Mitchum, CEO of Heart to Heart International. “These hygiene kits play an important role in preventing the spread of disease, such as cholera.”
With many health facilities damaged, inaccessible, or non-functional as a result of Hurricane Matthew, the urgently needed aid will reach the most affected areas of Haiti, including Grand’Anse and Sud.
“FedEx’s swift action in the wake of Hurricane Matthew makes it possible for our teams to save lives and alleviate suffering in some of the hardest hit communities in Haiti,” said Nancy Aossey, president and CEO of International Medical Corps. “They are making it possible for our teams to deliver urgently needed supplies and bring lifesaving medical care to those in need.”
The relief effort is part of the company’s FedEx Cares initiative, through which FedEx will invest $200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change around the world.
“We have a wealth of experience in the region as we arranged around 100 charter movements in and out of Port Au Prince following the earthquake in 2010,” added ACS’s Justin Lancaster. “It is awful that we find ourselves here again just six and a half years later, but hopefully our experience will help to ensure the smooth flow of relief into the country.”