Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Since 1948, Direct Relief has worked to help people who confront enormous hardship to recover from disasters and improve the quality of their lives. The tradition of direct and targeted assistance, provided in a manner that respects and involves the people served, has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding.
Direct Relief and Hurricane Maria:
Hurricane Maria has churned a devastating path through the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As the crisis unfolds, Direct Relief is responding to those in need, focusing relief efforts on the health facilities that serve people who rely on the healthcare safety net for essential services. Direct Relief has made an initial commitment of $250,000 in cash for community health centers in Puerto Rico to aid recovery efforts in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath. Direct Relief also committed $50,000 to support the work of La Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico’s primary care association, which represents the 20 member nonprofit corporations that operate 62 clinical sites in 53 municipalities and care for nearly 350,000 patients annually.
Direct Relief is working with the Department of Health in Puerto Rico and has provided an initial infusion of medications and supplies that had been requested. Direct Relief staff are working on creating a medical supply chain with the community clinics Direct Relief has long been supporting as well as with the Department of Health. The materials are packed in the Emergency Health Kit developed for rapid deployment, and the contents and quantities are based on experience of what’s most needed and requested in emergency situations. Learn more about Direct Relief’s efforts on behalf of Hurricane Maria victims here.
Direct Relief and the Mexico Earthquakes:
Since Mexico was struck by two massive earthquakes that caused the widespread loss of life, injuries, and destruction, Direct Relief has responded as fast and expansively as possible to help survivors overcome the enormous challenges that exist, and help prevent the earthquakes’ tragic effects from claiming additional lives.
Direct Relief has offered support to the Mexican Operational Response Committee and an Emergency Health Kit has been deployed to a trauma hospital in southern Mexico City. The Direct Relief, Mexico team is actively working with a number of local partners and pharmaceutical manufacturing partners within the country. Learn more about Direct Relief’s efforts work in Mexico here.
Direct Relief and Hurricane Irma:
Hurricane Irma churned a devastating path through the Caribbean and Florida, and as significant storm surge and flooding continues to impact those communities, Direct Relief is responding to those in need in several ways:
Helping People who are Most Vulnerable by focusing relief efforts on the health facilities that serve people who rely on the healthcare safety net for essential services. It is critical in the storm’s aftermath to support the existing, nonprofit community clinics and health centers that provide services to the people who are most vulnerable. The people who receive care at America’s nonprofit safety-net clinics and health centers—and the facilities themselves—are least able to financially absorb this type of blow and face the most difficult challenges bouncing back.
Extending the Reach of Relief by partnering with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers to better help people in need. Direct Relief is coordinating with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, whose member health centers operate more than 460 health sites throughout the state, providing primary care services to more than 1.4 million residents annually.
Bolstering Front-Line Responders with Supplies, ahead of the storm. Since Hurricanes Katrina 12 years ago, Direct Relief has annually pre-positioned specially designed emergency health stockpiles to care for displaced residents. These stockpiles were sent to nonprofit community health center partners throughout Florida and other states subject to hurricanes. Learn more about Direct Relief’s efforts on behalf of Hurricane Irma here.
Direct Relief and Hurricane Harvey:
As significant rain and flooding continues to affect Texas communities, Direct Relief is responding to those impacted in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Direct Relief created the Hurricane Community Health Fund, a collaboration among the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC), the Florida Association of Community Health Centers (FACHC), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) and Direct Relief, which will manage the fund. The fund will be used solely for the benefit of hurricane-affected communities and people – particularly those who have low incomes, lack insurance, and are among the most vulnerable residents – and will be directed to community health centers and free and charitable clinics in Texas and Florida. Learn more about Direct Relief’s efforts on behalf of Hurricane Harvey here.
While our donation to Direct Relief will be committed to the above aforementioned causes, please visit their site to learn more about the truly important and ongoing work the organization is doing around the world, including response to the crises in East Africa and Yemen, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the affects of the Zika virus.
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