SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The death toll from Haiyan has surged past 5,000 people, and thousands more are homeless and in need of medical supplies. That's where local non-profit Direct Relief International stepped in, teaming up with with Fed Ex to deliver more than $10 million dollars worth of supplies to the devastated country.
It was one of the most intense natural disasters on record- Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, killed over 5 thousand people and displaced over 13 million.
In the aftermath of the storm, Santa Barbara based non-profit Direct Relief mobilized support to provide medical resources for those affected by the storm.
Kerri Murray, Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Developmen, said "Direct Relief is sending out the biggest shipment in our 65 year history. It's 50 tons of emergency supplies and it's on the way to Cebu City to help people in need."
The air shipment contained enough medical supplies to treat over 250,000 people: half the supplies were donated by Direct Relief. The other half was donated by Heart to Heart International, a non-profit based out of Kansas City.
"We know that there are so many health facilities in the Philippines that have been destroyed. Direct Relief wants to make sure that we get the right medicines in the right hands," Murray said.
The immediate focus of the shipment is to build an emergency supply chain in order to improve health services. Direct Relief expects to continue to offer aid to the Philippines as they continue to rebuild from this disaster.