Operational update: support for midwives in Lebanon, continued response in Ukraine and more – Ukraine


Eleven countries supported with medical aid this week.

By Maeve O’Connor, direct relief

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 279 medical aid shipments requested in 34 U.S. states and territories and 11 countries worldwideincluding Ukraine.

The shipments contained 5.8 million defined daily doses of drugsincluding N-95 masks, antibiotics, Covid-19 therapies, diabetes drugs and cancer treatments.


In the last days, a modernized Blackhawk aircraft supported by Direct Relief has been used several times to fight fires in recent weeks.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department now has access to a 1,000-gallon water-dropping capable helicopter to support firefighting efforts, and the HH-60L “Firehawk” 964 helicopter responds to fires local and also offers regional support under the mutual aid system.

Direct Relief contributed $400,000 directly to the refurbishment of the Firehawk, and $750,000 was raised by other donors through Direct Relief. The military-grade aircraft was previously in service with the California Air National Guard as an air ambulance and has since been upgraded with state-of-the-art avionics, a new rescue winch and a water tank.

The aircraft has increased stability in high winds and night flying equipment, essential assets during fire season.


Since February 24, Direct Relief has provided medical aid weighing over 400 tons and including more than 68 million defined doses of medicine, with more on the way.

Maintaining treatment for chronic conditions is important to prevent new waves of medical emergencies that further strain an already overstretched healthcare system. This includes care for diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and others like cancer and rare diseases.

To support chronic disease care and cancer treatment in Ukraine and neighboring countries, Direct Relief has worked with groups such as the Ministries of Health in Ukraine and Moldova, and the World Health Organization to provide 60,000 vials of chemotherapy, 320,000 vials of cardiovascular drugs and 61,000 vials/pens of insulin, with an additional 1.8 million vials to come.

Direct Relief is also preparing to send 200,000 doses of Covid-19 therapy to Ukraine and neighboring countries. Ukraine’s health ministry announced this week that it is receiving additional aid from Direct Relief, including antibiotics and other requested medications.


Propelled by high winds and defying the efforts of more than 1,800 firefighters and other responders, the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak Fire has spread to more than 270,000 acres in New Mexico, according to the government’s National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Last week, Direct Relief delivered an emergency delivery of air purifiers, N95 masks and personal care products requested by Tewa Women United, an Indigenous women-led organization which also received a grant from Direct Relief. Fund for Health Equity. In addition, the organization made initial contact with New Mexico’s voluntary organizations active in disasters and with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on the ground in New Mexico. Medical aid was distributed to the community this week.

Additionally, Direct Relief has dispatched emergency medical supplies to Old Havana, Cuba, in response to a deadly hotel explosion that killed an estimated 43 people on Tuesday. The shipment was made in coordination with the Pan American Health Organization.



This week, outside of the United States, Direct Relief shipped more than 5.2 million defined daily doses of drugs.

Countries that have received medical aid in the past week include:

  • Ukraine
  • Peru
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Malawi
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Kenya


Direct relief delivered 257 shipments containing 579,545 doses of medicine over the past week to organizations including:

  • Monon Family Health Clinic, Indiana
  • Santa Clara County, California
  • Mission of Mercy – Arizona Clinics, Arizona
  • Eunice Community Health Center, Louisiana
  • Will County Community Health Center, Illinois
  • Lighthouse Medicine Departments, Oklahoma
  • Hope Clinic and Care Center, Wisconsin
  • NC MedAssist, North Carolina
  • Faith Family Medical Clinic, Tennessee
  • Good Samaritan Clinic, Alabama


Since January 1, 2022, Direct Relief has delivered 6,785 shipments for 1,465 health establishments in 51 US states and territories and 74 countries.

These shipments contained 202.8 million defined daily doses of drugs valued at $751.4 million (wholesale) and weighing 7.9 million pounds.


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