Support urban search and rescue in Ukraine, cancer treatments shipped and more

By Maeve O’Connor

Over the past seven days, Direct Relief has delivered 349 medical aid shipments requested in 38 U.S. states and territories and 19 countries worldwideincluding Ukraine.

The shipments contained 30.7 million defined daily doses of drugsincluding PPE, Covid-19 therapies, diabetes drugs and cancer treatments.

This week, 133 pallets of medical aid left the Direct Relief warehouse for distribution in Ukraine. Shipments included 23 pallets of cancer treatment drugs to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and a fourth 50-bed field hospital contents kit donated by the State of California (CalOES).

Ukraine’s response to date

Since February 24, Direct Relief has provided medical aid weighing over 300 tons and including more than 61 million defined doses of medicine, with more on the way.

Recently, Direct Relief supported Project Joint Guardian, an international nonprofit made up of firefighters, a $50,000 grant to transport first responders in Ukraine and help them buy the necessary equipment. The organization also provided firefighters with emergency medical backpacks for triage care and shipped supplies to the area on their behalf.

Direct Relief is in contact with Ministries of Health across the region to assess needs and shares information with the UN, European Commission and World Bank to coordinate relief efforts.

In the news

  • The Washington PostQ&A: Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief, explains how to help Ukraine: “Thomas Tighe says helping Ukrainians can usually be done using existing aid strategies. It’s just a matter of scale and adapting to circumstances on the ground.
  • Ready for the crisisThe Use of Human Mobility Data in Public Health Emergencies : This white paper, which chronicles the deliberations of more than 40 experts in the field during the seminar, examines the challenges and opportunities of using and sharing data to inform decision makers and public policies. Andrew Schroeder of Direct Relief is one of the co-authors of the article.
  • KCLUSouth Coast relief agency ships 250 tons of medical supplies to help Ukrainian refugees: “The head of Direct Relief calls it one of the greatest efforts in the history of nonprofit organizations. From bandages to insulin, an international relief agency based in Santa Barbara County has been struggling for nearly two months now to get medicine and medical supplies for war refugees in Ukraine.Thomas Tighe is the president and CEO of Direct Relief.Tighe says the non-profit organization has sent aid directly to Ukraine, as well as to Poland, which absorbed most of the millions of refugees fleeing the war-torn country. “Direct Relief has never done so much, so fast,” Tighe said.
  • Daily screenKino Lorber lands Cannes 2021 entry, Ukrainian gymnast drama ‘Olga’ : “Kino Lorber has acquired all North American distribution rights to Elie Grappe’s selection for Cannes Critics’ Week 2021 and the drama by Ukrainian gymnast Olga. The distributor plans a theatrical release on June 24, including 10 % of profits will be donated to Direct Relief in Ukraine.”
  • The 2022 California Pharmacists Association Awards: Dr. Ruth Smarinsky of Direct Relief has been named “Pharmacist of the Year” by the California Pharmacists Association for 2022. This award recognizes a California pharmacist for outstanding activities in the pharmacy profession and is the highest honor in the association.


This week, outside of the United States, Direct Relief shipped more than 30.5 million defined daily doses medication.

Countries that have received medical aid in the past week include:

  • Ukraine
  • Burundi
  • Nigeria
  • Armenia
  • Paraguay
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Nicaragua


Direct relief delivered 319 shipments containing 181,985 doses of medicine over the past week to organizations including:

  • Center for Family Health and Education, California
  • Lighthouse Medicine Departments, Oklahoma
  • Centro Medico Community Clinic, California
  • Health Services Inc., Alabama
  • Central Ohio Charity Pharmacy, Ohio
  • Welvista, South Carolina
  • Bee Busy Wellness Center, Texas
  • Clinic in San Jose, Texas
  • Compassionate Care of Shelby County, Ohio
  • Christian Health Centers of Los Angeles – Pico Aliso, CA


Since January 1, 2022, Direct Relief has delivered 6,220 shipments for 1,416 health organizations in 51 US states and territories and 72 countries.

These shipments contained 188.3 million defined daily doses of drugs valued at $82.9 million (wholesale) and weighing 7.6 million pounds.

Direct Relief is deploying emergency medical aid, ranging from oxygen concentrators to intensive care medication, while preparing for longer-term assistance to those displaced or affected by war in Ukraine.

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