The UPS Foundation has built a reputation for responding quickly with big cash grants and in-kind donations in disaster-stricken areas around the world. Offering its assistance in both man-made and natural disasters, the UPS Foundation often offers full package assistance in the form of not only grant money, but transportation, inventory-tracking software, and teams of technical experts who advise grantee organizations about how to disperse food, medical supplies, and other necessary goods as efficiently and rapidly as possible.
The foundation is no stranger to lending a hand in natural disaster areas, having recently provided emergency and recovery assistance after two earthquakes struck Nepal earlier this year. Now, the foundation is heading to the Northern Mariana Islands to help the small commonwealth in its post-typhoon recovery efforts.
The Northern Mariana Islands were dealt a one-two storm punch earlier this month as Typhoon Soudelor—the strongest typhoon of the year so far—passed over the small island chain. Just a few weeks after Soudelor carved a path of destruction across the Northern Marianas, the islands were struck once again by tropical storm Goni, which has since been upgraded to typhoon status.
Damages from both storms are said to be widespread, resulting in some 500 people taking refuge in emergency shelters and leaving the residents of the island of Saipan without water and electricity. Some experts are estimating that it will take weeks, if not months to restore widespread power. For now, the islands are relying on generators to maintain its minimal power needs.
The Northern Mariana Islands’ delegate to the US congress, Gregoria Kilili Camcacho Sablan noted the storms’ destruction, saying that he hadn’t seen a storm like Soudelor in over 20 years. Sablan also remarked on what will likely be a long recovery period for the area, saying, “Unfortunately, the resources we have are hardly enough to get things up.”
The UPS Foundation recently pledged over $10 million in planned support for humanitarian relief, recovery, and preparedness efforts around the globe. It looks like it’s making good on that promise by delivering close to 100,000 pound of American Red Cross relief supplies to the islands. The supplies are expected to aid over 50,000 residents.
A storm of this magnitude typically draws international attention and widespread aid. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case for the Northern Mariana Islands. Most of us hadn’t even heard of Typhoon Soudelor. But providing urgently needed aid to disaster areas like the Northern Mariana Islands is part and parcel for the UPS Foundation. Even if those disasters aren’t making the rounds on mainstream media.