Although the refugee crisis in Syria and its surrounding countries is the world’s largest, unfortunately it isn’t the only one of its kind. As the world turns its attention to the droves of people fleeing the Middle East and North Africa seeking safe harbor in Europe, so too does the UPS Foundation.
The UPS Foundation has coordinated with the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to deliver some 160 metric tons of critical supplies to refugees in Greece and along the border of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Air shipments of supplies—which included high energy biscuits, blankets, sleeping mats, and solar lanterns—were funded by the UPS Foundation.
Providing life-saving supplies and paying to get them where they need to be isn’t an unusual practice for the UPS Foundation, but rather more of the norm. In fact, it isn’t out of the ordinary for UPS not only to provide supplies and cover the transportation costs, but also to offer up some pretty sizable grants in conjunction with those donations.
Disaster relief and recovery assistance is a huge area of grantmaking focus for the UPS Foundation. Its commitment to such efforts was further solidified in the foundation’s announcement of its plan to shell out over $10 million to humanitarian relief, recovery, and preparedness efforts around the globe. So far, the plan for those millions is to extend UPS’ support of its long-time partners, including the UNHCR for the expansion of UPS Relief Link; UNICEF for its work strengthening immunization supply chains; the World Food Program for its logistics capacity assessment work; and GAVI in support of its work in increased efficacy in vaccine supply chains.
While the media is doing a pretty good job at turning the world’s attentions to the escalating global refugee crisis, most NGOs are not, and the UNHCR continues to suffer from a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall. Additionally, the UNHCR says the number of refugees, internally displaced people, and those seeking asylum is at its highest level in recorded history. Thus, the UPS Foundation and other organizations quickly responding to the global refugee crisis are essential to alleviating the suffering of millions.