Atlanta-based freight and parcel carrier UPS has announced they are to donate more than $1 million worth of support to the international efforts to assist the survivors of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday.
The contribution shall be made up of $500,000 in cash with the rest made up of in-kind support services.
The assistance is to be split between The Red Cross, UNICEF and CARE to be used in their long-term relief efforts for the blighted country.
Speaking of UPS’ commitment Dan Brutto, president of UPS International, said that: “With hundreds of thousands of people affected, our hearts go out to Haiti.
“Through our financial commitment and logistics expertise, UPS is positioned to respond quickly to the urgent needs and tremendous suffering that have been created by the earthquake. We felt it was critical that we act fast to support the relief efforts.”
UPS is also part of the World Food Programme's Logistics Emergency Teams (LETs), who deal with the rapid response and long-term logistic requirements that are created by disaster. The initiative involves providing "loaned" logistics experts to oversee on-site disaster response, normally for a deployment of three-to-six months and UPS has stated that is prepared for the activation of its team members.
John Vera, UPS’ Americas Region Health and Safety Manager and participate in relief efforts to Haiti in 2008 after a hurricane, states that the LETS teams job in the country is extremely difficult due to the poor infrastructure.
“Our job is to respond quickly and get supplies to those who need it most, but it's not an easy task in Haiti,” said Vera.
However, the news of UPS’ efforts has started a viral rumour on the social network site Twitter, which states that UPS has agreed to ship 50lb aid parcels from the public to Haiti free-of-charge. This is NOT true. Anyone looking to offer assistance to charities working in Haiti would be better off dealing with an organisation like the Red Cross.