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Israel/Gaza Crisis: Americares is responding

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High Fuel Costs Won’t Stop AmeriCares

  • September 18, 2008

Record oil prices won’t stand in the way of AmeriCares ability to deliver life-saving relief. Disasters like hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the floods in India and ongoing health care needs continue and so must our deliveries of critically needed medicines and relief supplies to people all over the globe.

Transportation is one of AmeriCares largest expenses. Our organization spent $2.5 million last year to ship $1 billion in aid to 86 countries, and we know our transportation costs this year will be even greater.

“If you think you feel pain at the pump when you fill up your SUV, think of what it costs to fill a DC-9 with 3,700 gallons of jet fuel,” said Dennis Brown, AmeriCares vice president of operations. “But no matter the cost, we are committed to delivering life-saving aid to those who need it most.”

AmeriCares sends sea shipments whenever possible, but those trips can take weeks or months to some destinations, which isn’t practical during emergencies or for medicines with a short shelf life. For shipments to some remote locations, AmeriCares charters its own planes. Those airlifts have become increasingly expensive in recent months. The most recent Darfur airlift in May cost $133,000 – a $47,000 increase over last year.

Even sea shipments, which are the most economical mode of international transport, are becoming more expensive because of fuel surcharges. AmeriCares paid $5,000 to send a 20-foot sea container to Cambodia in June – about the same amount we paid for a shipment twice the size only three months earlier.

The cost of a sea shipment to Guatemala, one of our most frequent routes, is now 20 percent higher than a year ago.

While there are no plans to cut back on shipments or the volume of aid we send, AmeriCares is working with vendors to increase efficiency and reduce freight costs. With the continued support of our donors we’ll continue to deliver life-saving aid uninterrupted.

“We’ll be as creative as possible to get the job done,” Brown said. “People are depending on us.”

Help us deliver life-saving aid. Donate today.