Stamford, Conn. – March 7, 2016 – AmeriCares has a series of emergency shipments headed to Fiji to assist the recovery from Cyclone Winston. The emergency response and global health organization immediately deployed a team of relief workers to meet survivors’ health needs after the Category 5 storm made landfall on February 20, leaving a path of destruction and nearly 350,000 survivors in need of assistance.
The first of three aid shipments left AmeriCares Stamford, Conn., headquarters today loaded with antibiotics, respiratory medicines, cardiovascular medicine and pediatric medications. Two more shipments are planned. In all, AmeriCares has 46,000 pounds of medicine and relief supplies valued at $1.5 million on the way to cyclone survivors. More than a dozen companies donated products for the effort, including GSK, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., Pfizer and Teligent, Inc.
“We are responding to a request from the Ministry of Health to meet the most urgent health needs,” said AmeriCares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino, who is leading the AmeriCares team in Fiji. “Many health facilities lost medicine and supplies in the floodwaters, and are now experiencing a surge in demand for care. The medicine and supplies from AmeriCares will help sustain health services in the hardest hit communities.”
AmeriCares deployed additional relief workers this weekend to assist the Ministry of Health with the distribution of medicine and supplies. Thirty percent of the country’s health facilities were damaged by the storm – the strongest recorded in the Southern Hemisphere and the strongest ever to hit Fiji. The government has declared a month-long state of natural disaster to recover.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. AmeriCares also brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities and launches long-term recovery programs after major emergencies that restore health services and strengthen health systems.