The Mirpuri Foundation and Hi Fly have teamed to deliver humanitarian aid and medical equipment to Beirut, Lebanon, after the city was devastated by a huge chemical explosion.
The Hi Fly Airbus A340 9H-SUN cargo plane carried 45 tonnes of donated relief, including survival essentials like water and food, as well as medical supplies for doctors dealing with the fall-out of the explosion.
Over 1800 individual doses of medication were donated directly the Mirpuri Foundation itself.
Hi Fly and the Mirpuri Foundation have also pledged an additional 200.000 euros in order to cover the costs of the humanitarian mission.
Mirpuri Foundation and Hi Fly president, Paulo Mirpuri, said: “In the aftermath of the August 4th catastrophe, Beirut and the Lebanese people have been suffering terribly.
”International help was essential. And as such, The Mirpuri Foundation, as a philanthropic organization made the commitment to provide humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people.
”We want to contribute and help by sending emergency and humanitarian aid to Beirut on Hi Fly.”
The Beirut Relief Flight was organised by Aviation Malta, Hi Fly, the Mirpuri Foundation and captain Charles Pace of Transport Malta. This initiative received wide support from the aviation industry and the private sector and the Maltese public have also donated heavily to bring relief to the Lebanese people.
Following the explosion in Beruit on August 4, about 300,000 were immediately displaced. Families have been forced into temporary shelter with relatives and friends, or in schools or other civic buildings. According to local assessments, as many as 500,000 people need immediate assistance with food, clothing, and shelter.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response of the Maltese public who have shown such solidarity with the people of Beirut and have not hesitated to help the Lebanese in their hour of need” said Pace.
“We also extend huge thanks to Hi Fly, the Mirpuri Foundation and Enemed, without whose plane and fuel, this mission would not have been possible”.
The Mirpuri Foundation and Hi Fly airline are also supporting the “Help Beirut” initiative. The campaign was created by Portuguese doctor Andreia Castro, who after traveling to Lebanon, found that an important sections of the capital had been completely destroyed and was lacking in innumerable basic necessities.
Understanding the urgency of the situation, the Mirpuri Foundation immediately decided to contribute by providing 1800 individual doses of medicine and hospital material essential for health workers on the ground to continue to support the devastated population.
The Foundation extended it’s work by organising a further three tonnes of cargo to be delivered on the Hi Fly aircraft as part of the “Help Beirut” initiative.
According to Dr. Andreia Castro, “This initiative, which started out as an individual volunteer action, without any institutional support, has gained momentum thanks to the social network account @me_across_the_world.
The aid program has now extended throughout Lebanon and now has hundreds of people and organizations wanting to join in and show support, contributing time and/or money.
The Mirpuri Foundation intervention meant that a rescue mission that was likely to have taken three weeks was completed in a single day.