Direct Relief to Expand Vaccine Capacity in Haiti

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Continued support, two years after massive quake and 1,000 tons of medical support

Santa Barbara, CA, January 10, 2011—Two years after the tragic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, Direct Relief International today announced that it will significantly expand the vaccine-storage capacity in Haiti as part of its ongoing humanitarian health assistance efforts in the country.

Over the past two years, Direct Relief has provided over 1,000 tons of life-saving medications and medical supplies valued at over $70 million wholesale and continues to provide its medical distribution program serving 115 hospitals and clinics across Haiti.

“The expansion of vaccine storage is just one among many parts of healthcare infrastructure that are essential and require continued attention and support,” said Brett Williams, Director of International Programs for Direct Relief International. “The two-year marker provides a moment to look back, but it’s also a sharp reminder that for all the progress that has been made and efforts expended, severe needs exist and much more remains to be done.”

Direct Relief’s expanded humanitarian health efforts since the 2010 quake followed more than 40 years of ongoing support in Haiti. The organization received over $6.7 million in contributions following the earthquake from more than 25,000 people and extensive support in the form of in-kind goods and services valued at over $70 million, including transportation from FedEx and specifically- requested medications, vaccine, and medical supplies from over 130 healthcare companies.

Consistent with the organization’s longstanding practice, all Direct Relief medical contributions have been approved by the Ministry of Health in Haiti for importation. The organization also developed and has published online the precise location of each medical donation in a highly-detailed interactive map to ensure transparency and prevent duplication of effort.

The organization established an online ordering system for medical commodities and a nationwide distribution system now used by over 115 health facilities, which proved essential in mobilizing, allocating, and rapidly distributing medical supplies in response to the cholera outbreak that has claimed 7,000 lives since its onset in October of last year.

Approximately two-thirds of the funds raised have been spent to mount an expansive post-quake emergency medical-supply program, a cash-grant program for local Haitian community groups, and essential funding for both prosthetics and rehabilitative services in-country to meet the increased demand caused by the catastrophic event. With all remaining funds committed to long-term recovery, Direct Relief intends to remain in Haiti for as long as necessary.

Over these past two years, more than 25,000 donors gave to Direct Relief to help the people of Haiti. Recently ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the twenty most efficient large charities in the United States, Direct Relief honors that commitment by ensuring 100% of those donations are used exclusively to help people in Haiti whose lives remain threatened by sickness, disease, and injury. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org.