Stamford, Conn.—Oct. 26, 2017— Americares is airlifting nearly $8 million in critical medicines and medical supplies for Hurricane Maria survivors in Puerto Rico. The shipment—Americares fifth emergency airlift to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating storm—contains 22 tons of supplies including antibiotics, respiratory medicine, chronic disease medications, wheelchairs, crutches, wound care products and water filtration containers for health centers throughout the island.
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on September 20, killing more than 50 people, flattening homes and businesses and knocking out power throughout the island. Americares response teams are working with local partners and government officials to restore health services for survivors.
“This shipment is our largest to date for the crisis in Puerto Rico,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “More than a month after the storm there are still shortages of essential medicines and supplies. We are committed to helping Puerto Rico recover and ensuring survivors get the care they need.”
A portion of the supplies were donated by Leon Medical Centers, a network of outpatient medical facilities in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The medical center purchased products from a needs list supplied by the Puerto Rican government and worked with Americares to prepare the airlift.
The chartered flight from Miami is scheduled to arrive in San Juan this afternoon. Americares will work with the Puerto Rico Primary Health Association, Inc., which supports 20 organizations operating 62 clinic locations, to distribute the supplies.
Americares has emergency response teams in Puerto Rico and Dominica assisting Hurricane Maria relief efforts, while continuing to help hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida recover from recent storms. To date, Americares has delivered over $60 million in aid for survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster. It has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.
Should Americares raise funds in excess of what's needed to respond to this particular crisis, the funds will be redirected to where the need is greatest.