Since Russian soldiers crossed into Ukraine, Santa Barbara-based organization Direct Relief is partnering with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to send aid.
Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe said that Ukraine “requested things for trauma care. There's a lot of injuries that the Ukrainians are seeing. And there's also 500,000 people so far who fled the country.”
Since this interview took place, the number of people who fled Ukraine has increased.
Direct Relief sent more than $5 million dollars worth of medical aid since last week. Because of the fighting and displacement, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine is not sure what will be open and active, especially for people who are injured or have chronic illnesses.
Direct Relief expects to send more as the conflict continues. “They can find themselves in a crisis relatively quickly if they’re disconnected from their care,” Tighe told KSBY.
Direct Relief is sending more than 350 pre-made packs of supplies. These packs were originally developed in California for First Responders.
“Each pack had about 120 items that were determined for the wound care, first aid, breathing, and airway. It's a giant first aid kit, kind of for a paraprofessional,” explained Tighe.
Direct Relief was founded in the aftermath of World War II.
“So shocking and sad that the same neighborhood requires the same type of support that led to the creation of direct relief in 1948,” said Tighe.
Direct Relief is working with countries surrounding Ukraine that are taking in refugees as well.
Over the past six months, Direct Relief sent more than $25 million dollars of aid to Ukraine, as well as sent Monoclonal Antibody treatments for COVID-19 infections.
People can donate to Direct Relief on their website.