UPS has delivered 71 tonnes of relief supplies to Bamako, Mali, in a bid to halt an outbreak of cholera.
The shipment included water purification units for 25,000 people; emergency medical aid for a further 25,000; rehydration salt for two million; high energy biscuits for 39,000 children and 497 tents that can accommodate up to 10 people each.
Currently more than 18.7 million people lack access to sufficient food and more than one million children under the age of five are at risk of dying from malnutrition in the Sahel region.
The aid agencies involved in the UPS flight included CARE, Americares, UNICEF, Shelterbox and Interaction.
"When a humanitarian crisis occurs, logistics immediately becomes key to saving lives. This is the third movement of critical relief supplies to the Sahel region of Africa that UPS has been involved in since April as there's a lot of need," said Dan Brutto, president of UPS International. "UPS's role has been to utilize our capabilities to efficiently deliver our NGO partners' supplies by consolidating them and we're honoured to be able to help provide our expertise."
Dr. Helene Gayle, CARE's president and CEO added: "The food crisis in the Sahel is dire, and made more so because there hasn't been the outpouring of support we've seen in the past to address the critical needs of millions. With this commitment from UPS, we can help thousands in need of basic nutrition."
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that as of August 14, there were 140 reported cases of cholera in Mali and 11 deaths.
"Malnutrition weakens immune systems and makes children and adults more susceptible to disease, and unclean water increases the risk of contracting deadly diarrheal diseases," noted AmeriCares medical director Dr. Frank Bia. "Our medicines and supplies will potentially save thousands of lives."