Today, UNICEF USA and UPS announced an impactful partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort to support the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Providing relief to those in need of clean water and other basic supplies, UNICEF USA, in close cooperation with the Governor’s teams and nonprofit partners, will leverage the vast UPS logistics network to deliver supplies from various points around the world, including from the company’s Worldport global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky. One plane will carry more than 60 pallets of water from Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, departing on Tuesday morning. Two additional plane loads will provide 60 pallets of emergency supply kits (enough for 60,000 people) delivered to more than 10 designated humanitarian supply distribution centers in Puerto Rico, in close coordination with the Governor’s teams and nonprofit partners on the ground later this week.
"As Puerto Rico continues to suffer in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we stand committed to helping the community rebuild and recover,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “The Empire State Relief & Recovery Effort is making a real difference in supporting our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters, and I am proud to partner with UNICEF USA and UPS to get critically-needed supplies into the hands of thousands of children and families in need."
While the full extent of damage is still being assessed, and long-term recovery efforts are being determined, emergency supply kits will reach thousands of children and their families—those most at risk in any natural disaster. Each kit contains basic supplies to support family hygiene for at least 30 days, including water purification tablets, water buckets, soap, toothpaste, detergent, sanitary pads and more. The supplies will keep children and their families clean and healthy, protecting them from diseases that can occur after the loss of infrastructure and disruption in water supplies. Beyond the initial deliveries, the partners are determining how to best continue getting needed supplies into the hands of families and children impacted by the storm.
"The devastation in Puerto Rico demands that we all play a role in responding, and UNICEF USA remains committed to its mission to put Children First - here and around the world," said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, UNICEF USA. "UNICEF USA is proud to join forces with our longstanding partner UPS and the Governor's team to deliver lifesaving supplies for the children and families in Puerto Rico who need it most."
UPS is a long-time partner of UNICEF USA, working to strengthen UNICEF’s supply chain operations and support relief efforts in times of emergencies. Most recently UPS and UNICEF volunteers sourced, packed, and delivered school supplies for more than 400 classrooms in the Houston Public School System after Hurricane Harvey.
"With critical infrastructure damage in Puerto Rico and a complex recovery process, public-private partnerships like this create a critical foundation for getting aid and goods distributed as quickly as possible,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “We commend Governor Cuomo and UNICEF USA for their vision and fast action, and UPS is proud to deploy our air and ground resources to assist in the effort.”
For more information and ways to support this partnership, visit www.unicefusa.org/puertorico or https://www.ny.gov/programs/empire-state-relief-and-recovery-effort-puerto-rico. Families can also support UNICEF USA emergency relief efforts by joining the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign this year – www.trickortreatforunicef.org