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Flight is first U.S. NGO airlift into region
New Canaan, CT, May 11 2003 – AmeriCares, the nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, has airlifted 80,000 pounds of essential medicines, medical supplies, nutritional supplements and other materials into Baghdad. The airlift arrived at the Baghdad International Airport on Sunday, May 11 at 7:45 a.m local time. AmeriCares is the first U.S. non-governmental organization to airlift medical relief supplies directly into Baghdad.
The airlift relief team met up with another AmeriCares team already in Baghdad. The supplies were offloaded and will be distributed to several hospitals and clinics throughout the city. The team now in Baghdad has been assessing the medical needs of the region with the help of an Iraqi-born physician, Dr. Rafal Al-Badri, who has been living in the United States since the 1970s. This initial airlift will help fill a medical need in Baghdad, a city that has been depleted of vital medicines and medical supplies. Additional airlifts into Iraq are scheduled for the coming weeks.
An airlift into Kirkuk in northern Iraq is scheduled for the week of May 19. The AmeriCares team in Kirkuk has already distributed 40,000 pounds of life-saving medicines that were brought into the region overland via Turkey two weeks ago. It was the first medical aid into the city since the onset of the war. The upcoming Kirkuk airlift will supplement this distribution.