Direct Relief continues to support emergency relief efforts in response to the devastating damage caused by two powerful and deadly earthquakes that occurred in Mexico. Direct Relief was already responding to an 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off the country's southern Pacific coast on September 7th, causing nearly 100 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and massive property damage in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, when a 7.1 magnitude quake struck Central Mexico. The second quake, which occurred on September 19th, was centered about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City and caused massive damage throughout the area including in the capital city. Hundreds of people were killed, and thousands were injured and rendered homeless.
Direct Relief Mexico is a registered Asociación Civil in Mexico and was granted tax-deductible status (Donataria Autorizada) from the Mexican government in 2014. Earlier in 2017, Direct Relief established a conduit for pharmaceutical businesses in Mexico to donate medicine within the country which has proven to be particularly useful during this disaster response effort.
Direct Relief continues to coordinate with authorities from the National, State, and local Ministry of Health departments to reach people affected by the quakes. Two earthquake emergency shipments have been delivered to the Oaxacan Ministry of Health for distribution to five health facilities in the affected region. Direct Relief is also assisting the Oaxacan Ministry with its medical product storage needs for the next year.
Efforts are also focused on assisting the network of clinics and hospitals that Direct Relief’s Mexico office supports on a regular basis. In addition to medical material resources, cash grants are being awarded to long-term partners to cover earthquake-related repair, reconstruction, and medical equipment replacement costs. Grants awarded to date include:
-Mexican Association of Diabetes for repairs to their facility and the interim rental of space to hold training sessions ($40,000)
-Casa de la Amistad for repair of damage to its facility in Mexico City ($40,000), and for support for pediatric cancer patients’ families affected by the earthquakes ($40,000)