New Delhi / Chennai, September 2018: Airbus Foundation and Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) have partnered to provide relief to communities reeling under the impact of Kerala floods, one of the worst disasters that the state has faced in close to a hundred years.
The partnership was forged in the second week of August when the flooding was at its peak in Kerala with incessant rains and the opening of dam gates. Airbus Foundation offered support for airlifting relief that was urgently needed but was difficult to deliver.
“The support from the Airbus Foundation has been very useful and, in most cases, critical. As the Indian Red Cross branches from across the country mobilized relief, we were faced with the challenge of delivery. It had to be fast and precise,” said Dr Veer Bhushan, Joint Secretary, IRCS, National Headquarters.
Using a multi-role H135 helicopter, Airbus Foundation provided airlift service of 50 flying hours, carrying essential relief, including medicines, water purifiers, clothes and tents, across the most affected districts. The foundation also helped move relief from IRCS warehouses in Mumbai and Chennai en route to Kerala.
“Our thoughts are with the people dealing with the unprecedented impact of the floods,” said Andrea Debbane, Executive Director, Airbus Foundation. “Partnering with the humanitarian community is a significant mandate for the Airbus Foundation. We are grateful to the Red Cross for giving us the opportunity to partner with them in this humanitarian mission.”
The operations were difficult and needed detailed planning on logistics to ensure the airlift and drops were coordinated as per the needs of the beneficiaries. The Airbus Foundation team and the Indian Red Cross disaster response team worked closely in an exceptional spirit of cooperation.
“The support from Airbus Foundation continues even as we speak in the districts that are still underwater and hard to reach, like Idukki to Wayanad. This partnership has made a big difference as it came at the right time,” said Mr. V P Muraleedharan, Chairman, IRCS, Kerala Branch.