FedEx, Direct Relief Deliver Essential Medicines to Flood-Inundated Paraguay

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to widespread flooding that has displaced tens of thousands of people, FedEx and Direct Relief shipped 20,703 pounds of requested medical aid to Paraguay, where intense seasonal rains have inundated communities.

Essential medicines and supplies bound for Paraguay are staged and shipped from Direct Relief's warehouse last week before arriving in the country on Monday, June 10. Flooding across Paraguay has displaced more than 70,000 people, and medical and supplies were provided to the country's Ministry of Health as they work to treat patients in impacted areas. FedEx provided logistics and transportation of the shipment, free of charge. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

More than 70,000 people across Paraguay have been displaced, and waters are expected to rise further in the coming weeks.

The 25-pallet shipment that departed Direct Relief's global distribution center last week arrived Monday in Asunción, Paraguay, and will be distributed to flooded communities and those dealing with related health impacts.

The shipment, worth $2.6 million (wholesale), includes respiratory supplies, IV fluids, cardiovascular medications, antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, and other medical items requested by Paraguay's Ministry of Health to assist communities across flooded regions.

The special shipment is being provided free-of-charge by FedEx through the company's FedEx Cares Delivering for Good initiative. The company uses its unparalleled expertise in shipping and logistics to enable the medical supplies to arrive in country quickly, allowing for the rapid distribution of medical aid to those most in need.

"FedEx is proud to use its global network to deliver critical supplies to people in Paraguay who've been devastated by flooding," said Julio C. Barrionuevo, Senior Vice President of Operations, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and Global Service Partners, FedEx Express Latin America and Caribbean Division. "We are inspired by the passion of those who work for Direct Relief and stand ready to help provide aid whenever and wherever it's needed."

FedEx has supported Direct Relief's humanitarian efforts since 2003, providing millions of dollars' worth of transportation expertise that has supported emergency preparedness and response efforts across the globe. The company invested in Direct Relief's Global Distribution Center, a 155,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2018 and facilitated the storage and mobilization of more medical aid by increasing Direct Relief's warehouse capacity.

"Direct Relief is deeply grateful for FedEx extending its unique capabilities to assist people in Paraguay facing vastly heightened risks in the unfolding flood emergency," said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. "The company's phenomenal response is delivering exactly what's needed at this critical time, which makes a huge difference."

Direct Relief forged an official agreement with Paraguay's Ministry of Health earlier this year, enabling a faster response to vulnerable communities during natural disasters.

"Floodwaters have displaced thousands across Paraguay, resulting in serious health impacts, disproportionately impacting the country's most vulnerable. It's these populations the Ministry of Health is working to reach," said Dr. Julio Daniel Mazzoleni Insfran, Paraguay's Minister of Health. "Public-private partnerships, like this one, are supporting the effort to rapidly connect medical aid to those in flooded areas."

Direct Relief has a Country Liaison and Regional Medical Advisor in Paraguay, who has been instrumental in lending expertise to assess the health-related needs of affected communities. Since flooding began, Direct Relief has supported the country's Ministry of Health with a series of shipments of requested medical support, including Emergency Medical Backpacks designed for first responders providing care outside of the walls of a medical facility.

Personal care products for those displaced from their homes, as well as oral rehydration solution, which can be used to rapidly rehydrate people suffering from the water-borne illnesses that often follow flooding events, were also sent as part of the flood response efforts.

About Direct Relief

A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states, Direct Relief is the first charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world's most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.

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SOURCE Direct Relief

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