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Posted: 2017-04-06 22:37:25

Families in Huachipa, Peru, receive Direct Relief family hygiene kits, which are filled with basic items, like soap, toothbrushes and other essentials. Many were displaced from their homes in the wake of the flooding. (Photo by Andrew Curtis/Hitchhiker Pictures)

Direct Relief today committed an initial $200,000 in cash and made available $32 million in medical resources for relief and recovery efforts in Colombia and Peru, where historic flooding and mudslides have claimed hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

Today’s commitment follows several emergency air shipments from Direct Relief of medical aid totaling $7.8 million and 38 tons (76,000 lbs.).

“People in Peru and Colombia are facing severe risks in the wake of devastating storms, and Direct Relief is extending support to our capable partner organizations providing frontline care in a still unfolding, complex emergency,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.

Devastation in the town of Mocoa, Colombia, taken the morning after landslides and flooding. Direct Relief is responding to this region of Colombia with critical medical aid and supplies.(Photo courtesy of La Patrulla Aerea Colombiana)

Water sources often become compromised after serious flooding, which can lead to a host of health issues. Cholera and other diseases related to poor sanitation pose additional threats to public health. Neglected tropical diseases including trachoma, soil-transmitted pathogens, and various bacterial and parasitic infections also present risks to people in the area.

Bolstered by strong support from corporate partners that include AbbVie, Allergan, Actavis, Baxter, BD, Boehringer Ingelheim, Teva, Pfizer, and Unilever, Direct Relief is sending antibiotics, antivirals, rehydration supplies and hygiene kits. FedEx has provided emergency airlift support.

Emergency medical tents are constructed in Huachipa, Peru. Hospitals and other key infrastructure were destroyed in the devastating floods, and the

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