UPS mobilises multimodal relief strategy: Cyclone Idai

The UPS Foundation is coordinating with United Nations (UN) partners to expedite food and supplies to natural disaster–impacted communities in Mozambique and Malawi as well as the US.

These relief efforts follow reports of a cyclone that affected East Africa as well as tornadoes and floods that devastated parts of the United States' midwest.

Collaborations between The UPS Foundation and leading humanitarian relief organisations are bringing urgent relief by land, sea and air.

According to UPS, the number of people impacted by Cyclone Idai has risen to more than three million people, with 500 reported fatalities – a number that is projected to rise.

UPS and the UPS Foundation continue to engage in close collaborations with the UN Logistics Cluster and relief organisations including The World Food Programme, UNICEF, UNHCR, CARE and MedShare.

The multimodal relief strategy includes:

  • Coordination with United Nations partners on four flights landing on the east coast of Africa to bring food and supplies.
  • Two flight rotations into Beira, Mozambique on behalf of UNICEF to bring ready-to-eat meals that will provide essential nutrition to more than 7,000 people.
  • Collaboration with The World Food Programme on the airlift of two amphibious transport vehicles called “SHERPs” from the Ukraine to Beira, Mozambique, to deliver food and supplies to isolated communities where roads are impassible or no longer exist.
  • Coordination with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to transport more than 190,000 pounds (86,167 kilograms) of core relief items, including tarps, buckets, solar lamps, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, food preparation equipment and blankets, to Lilongua, Malawi.
  • Transport of 168,000 water purification sachets to Malawi, in addition to the activation of $25,000 (approx. €22,238) of the advanced relief funding provided to CARE by The UPS Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase tarps and blankets which are being transported to Beira via ocean transport.
  • In collaboration with MedShare, UPS is preparing to transport an ocean container of medical supplies that will help more than 12,000 people in Malawi.

In collaboration with the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), UPS has also transported 15 pallets of cholera and typhoid treatment kits which can help prevent outbreak of water-borne illnesses in Mozambique.

Recent flooding in the US is reportedly threatening the safety of more than a million private water wells. The National Ground Water Association estimates that people living more than 300 counties across 10 states are at risk of groundwater contamination from flood waters. The states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The UPS Foundation continues to collaborate with relief partners across the US.

  • The UPS Foundation delivered a $500,000 (approx. €444,779) grant last week to support the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, enabling the Red Cross to immediately open shelters in impacted communities across America to support the hundreds of people sleeping in Midwest shelters each night.
  • UPS is collaborating with The Salvation Army to transport two truckloads of flood kits to Nebraska being coordinated by Coyote Logistics, a UPS company.
  • In collaboration with Feed the Children, on behalf of the National Voluntary Organisations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), UPS has transported four truckloads of water and two truckloads of food supplies and hygiene items to Grand Island, Nebraska where the majority of the town is still underwater.
  • UPS continues to provide in-kind transportation of technical equipment for the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC) as they expand to new areas to provide power and connectivity to assist multiple relief organisations responding to the disaster.
  • UPS is working with Toolbank USA to prepare the Toolbank Disaster Services Trailer for deployment to Nebraska to support volunteers cleaning homes and removing debris in neighbourhoods where water has receded.

The relief efforts and collaborations in the US and Africa are just the latest in UPS’s history of supporting communities in times of need. In 2018, UPS and The UPS Foundation responded to 29 major world disasters and invested $16 million in funding, in-kind, and technical support for community safety initiatives that included disaster preparedness and urgent response, recovery and public health system strengthening. Relief spanned 71 countries across continents around the globe.

Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2017, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $118 million (€104.9 million) in charitable giving around the world.

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