UPS mobilises Dubai network to provide relief to Cyclone Idai survivors

Air cargo operators and express logistics companies are leveraging Dubai’s position as a first-response hub to air lift relief supplies to Mozambique
Ups, Air Charter Services, Dubai, Humanitarian logistics, Cyclone Idai, Mozambique

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UPS says relief efforts are underway to bring critical supplies and food to victims of the recent cyclone that slammed into East Africa.

Collaboration between The UPS Foundation and leading humanitarian relief organizations are bringing urgent relief by land, sea and air, the company said.

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“We express our deepest sympathy to those who have been affected by the tragic turn of events that have recently taken place,” said Rami Suleiman, UPS president for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA).

“With UPS’s regional headquarters based in Dubai, a world humanitarian hub, we have the opportunity to leverage public-private partnerships to support the communities we serve by delivering aid during humanitarian crises,” he added.

“Our regional freight forwarding team has been coordinating flights from Dubai to deliver crucial supplies to help those who have been impacted.”

The number of people impacted by Cyclone Idai has climbed to more than 3 million people, with 500 people reported dead, a number that’s been projected to increase.

Rami Suleiman, UPS president for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA)

As flood waters slowly recede, UPS and The UPS Foundation continue to engage in close collaboration with the UN Logistics Cluster and relief organisations, including The World Food Programme, UNICEF, UNHCR, CARE and MedShare.

“The situation is heart-wrenching, and the need for help is urgent,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer.

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“The collaboration with our United Nations and disaster relief network partners is allowing us to address immediate needs for food and shelter, and to bring supplies that will be critical during the recovery period,” he said.

The multi-modal 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 from Nairobi, Kenya 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 impassable or no longer exist.

•             Coordination with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to transport from Dubai, UAE more than 190,000 lbs. 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 from Dubai to Lilongwe, in addition to the activation of $25,000 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 will help prevent the outbreak of water-borne illnesses in Mozambique, an increasing threat as waters recede. 

The relief efforts and collaborations in 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.

Air Charter Service is another of the air cargo operators joining in the fight. The company has chartered aircraft to fly a total of almost 500 tons of humanitarian aid, as well as almost 100 doctors, into disaster-struck Mozambique so far.

Air Charter Service is also working in conjunction with various aid agencies and governments, flying in a variety of cargo, including cholera vaccines, water treatments, mosquito nets and tarpaulins.          

“We even had one flight that was transporting an entire field hospital to the region, including X-ray machines and 4x4 vehicles,” said Dan Morgan-Evans, group director of Cargo at ACS. “In total so far we have chartered aircraft for just over 480 tons of equipment, on a variety of aircraft, ranging from Antonov 12s and Ilyushin 76s, to Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 777s, with more to come in the next few days.” 

“Our offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have all been involved in the relief effort,” he added. “As well as the huge amount of cargo, we also had a Boeing 737 transporting 80 doctors to Beira in Mozambique over the weekend.”

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