Distribution of Medical and Non-Medical Commodities in the Caucasus and Ukraine
Though there have been notable economic improvements in Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine, the countries still struggle with inflation, especially for basic products and services. This is exacerbated by a highly uneven distribution of wealth. According to the World Bank, over half the population in these countries lives in poverty.
The countries’ health ministries are implementing reforms, but they are struggling to provide quality medicines, supplies, and laboratory equipment to maintain basic medical services in rural hospitals and small health facilities. There is an especially serious shortage of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and supplies for refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees, and other vulnerable populations.
To address this, IRD has delivered over $200 million of in-kind donations of commodities to countries of the south Caucasus and Ukraine since 1999, reaching over 3.5 million people. The assistance came from IRD partner medical institutions, government institutions, and local NGOs. In 2009, the value of IRD-distributed medicines and medical and non-medical supplies was over $16 million in the three countries, and reached over 730,000 beneficiaries. IRD also provided
potable water to 25,000 formerly displaced persons, ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable people in the Crimea region of Ukraine between 2002 and 2005. In addition to regular distribution activities, IRD renovates and repairs boarding schools, retirement homes, orphanages, health posts, hospitals, and water supply systems in rural communities.
In 2010, IRD assisted the US Department of State to launch Operation Provide Hope, a hospital project in the Crimea. IRD provided logistical support and facilitated customs clearance of more than 100 trucks of medical equipment and supplies to improve the technical capacity of emergency and state hospitals.
In 2011, IRD continues to deliver essential medicines, medical equipment, and supplies to 200,000 of the most vulnerable people in Armenia, 440,000 internally displaced and vulnerable people in western Georgia, and 330,000 formerly displaced persons and other vulnerable people in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Distribution of medical and non-medical commodities in the Caucasus and Ukraine is carried out by IRD with the support of its generous in-kind donors and the US Department of State.