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Sending Aid, Delivering Hope to Eastern Africa

October 26, 2011

Pete Brumbaugh
Heart to Heart International

Jaya Vadlamudi
International Medical Corps

Everyone knows when a shipment needs to get anywhere in the world on time, FedEx makes it happen. When the shipment contains life-saving medical aid for disaster victims, the delivery provider is even more important. Heart to Heart International and FedEx have been working together since 1995 to deliver much-needed medicines and supplies to underserved parts of the world. We recently opened a “Forward Response Center” (FRC) at the FedEx international hub at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. The Forward Response Centre allows Heart to Heart to stores relief supplies at the FedEx hub so that aid can get faster and more efficiently to places of need via FedEx. The FRC at Charles De Gaulle Airport serves Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Within weeks of being operational, Heart to Heart has already activated the FRC and made its first shipment with FedEx, targeting the needs of displaced people in Eastern Africa that have been affected by a widespread famine in the region. More than 13.3 million people — mostly, women and children – are urgently in need of humanitarian intervention mostly in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Relief agencies have been working every day to alleviate suffering. Heart to Heart contacted its trusted partners at International Medical Corps to offer assistance.

International Medical Corps has been working in the region since 1991 and is actively responding to this widespread disaster. Their teams on-the-ground are already reaching severely malnourished people with lifesaving nutrition interventions in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.  The organization uses an integrated, community-based approach to malnutrition, addressing both immediate malnutrition, as well as some of its underlying causes, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene aimed at stemming the spread of disease.  International Medical Corps will work to distribute the critical supplies we’re delivering through their programs in Ethiopia where they are reaching drought-stricken local communities as well as Somalis living in refugee camps.

Heart to Heart and FedEx are delivering not only 10 pallets of hygiene kits from the Forward Response Center in Paris for family units in eastern Africa, but we are also sending 25 Ready Relief Boxes to International Medical Corps from the United States. The hygiene kits provide enough supplies to help individuals avoid the spread of germs and disease for up to two weeks. The Ready Relief Box contains enough medicines and supplies for up to 500 patient encounters. These shipments are expected to impact more than 15,000 people through International Medical Corps’ operations.

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