Receives $3 Million Grant From Paul G. Allen Family Foundation To Establish The Program
A $3 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has been awarded to Airlink, a 24/7 disaster relief organization that links prequalified nonprofits with airlines for passenger and cargo transportation, to establish an air bridge to streamline transportation of critically needed supplies to the combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“Airlink is deeply gratified by the support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the opportunity to be part of their initiative to create and support innovative solutions to address the Ebola Outbreak,” said Steve Smith, the Executive Director of Airlink. “With the supply chain significantly contracted by many carriers deciding not to fly into West Africa at this time, many of our nonprofit partners have told us we are the only avenue for them to deliver aid.”
The first flight of this modern-day airlift will leave from Chicago this coming Tuesday, September 23, on Nippon Cargo Airlines. The routing of the shipment will take it from Chicago’s O’Hare airport nonstop to Frankfort’s Hann Airport, where it will be trucked to Liege, Belgium and boarded on Western Global Cargo Airlines for the flight to Monrovia, Liberia.
Consisting of emergency medical aid and personal protective gear for healthcare workers fighting the deadly Ebola outbreak, it is the first of a regular flow of shipments which will take place over the next three months covered by the grant.
The five nonprofit organizations in Airlink’s network of NGOs sending the much needed supplies in the airlift are: AFYA Foundation, AmeriCares, ChildFund International, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Direct Relief, Operation USA and UMass Medical School. Other Airlink partners providing logistical support on the ground are LIFT, ALAN and DAMCO.
“Working closely with our partners, we strive to promote interoperability between responding nonprofit organizations in order to reduce supply chain inefficiencies when delivering aid workers and their cargoes to disaster sites world-wide. We pride ourselves on the ability to ensure that the right critical aid cargo gets to the intended recipients at the right time,” concluded Smith.