Airlift Arrives with Life-Saving Medical Equipment in Ethiopia

February 21, 2022 • Ethiopia

Samaritan’s Purse is providing critically needed supplies to help those suffering in areas of conflict.

Emergency Medicine

Our Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 airlift has landed in Ethiopia with life-saving equipment and supplies to help hospitals devastated by recent violence. Armed conflict in one northern area of the East African nation has left medical facilities unable to provide critical services for some 350,000 people.

Vulnerable people, including the sick, wounded, and even expectant mothers, have been forced to travel long distances in the area, often unable to reach critically needed treatment in time.

Watch the video at top to see footage from one of the hospitals where equipment airlifted by Samaritan’s Purse is headed. With the resupply this facility should be able to serve increased numbers of patients over the next six months.

The Samaritan's Purse DC-8 landed in Ethiopia on Thursday.

The Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 landed in Ethiopia on Feb. 17.

“The situation in Ethiopia is heartbreaking. Many innocent people are caught in the conflict, and local healthcare facilities are unable to serve their patients because of a lack of resources,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We are airlifting these desperately needed supplies to save lives and let the Ethiopian people know that God loves them. Please join me in praying for peace and unity in this conflict-torn land.”

The DC-8 aircraft, carrying more than 13 tons of life-saving medical supplies, touched down in Addis Ababa on Feb. 17 and was greeted upon arrival by the nation’s Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, along with members of the Samaritan’s Purse Ethiopia Country Office.

Among the items to be provided to the country’s medical systems are two anesthesia machines, an X-ray machine, an ultrasound machine, and an operating table along with beds, IV supplies, and other essentials.

Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, expressed gratitude as she greeted our DC-8 in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, Dr. Lia Tadesse, expressed gratitude as she greeted our DC-8 in Addis Ababa.

The airlift departed Tuesday morning, Feb. 15, from our hangar in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fitsum Arega, joined Samaritan’s Purse Vice President of Operations Edward Graham to see the plane off and to deliver remarks about the critical importance of this airlift and our partnership with his country.

“I would like to thank you on behalf of the people of Ethiopia for this generous gift,” Ambassador Arega said. “The people of Ethiopia’s northern regions have suffered much as a result of the conflict and so many hospitals and health centers have been looted and affected because of the war. So many people are in distress. For you to come and bless us with this kind of support tells us who you are. I thank you so much. God bless you. We really need your prayers that the conflict would end and peace would be restored in Ethiopia.”

Edward Graham joined the ambassador in gratitude for the opportunity to respond to help so many hurting people.

“This is the fifth flight of our DC-8 to Ethiopia to certain regions where hundreds of thousands of people are without medical care,” he said. “At the invitation of the Ethiopian government and Ministry of Health, Samaritan’s Purse is able to respond and meet these immediate needs. And we do this all in the Name of Jesus Christ.”

Edward Graham was joined by Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fitsum Arega, to commemorate the DC-8 airlift.

Edward Graham was joined by Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, Fitsum Arega, to commemorate the DC-8 airlift as it prepared to depart from North Carolina.

He continued: “We want our neighbors to know that we care for them, and just like the story of the Good Samaritan, we meet the immediate need of those that are hurting and also care for them long term and share the hope of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”

In addition to the hospital resupply, Samaritan’s Purse has launched a food program in eight schools within the conflict region to provide families with necessities.

The scope of the work includes a three-month supply of food for at least 1,600 school-age children. We’ll also be offering water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) items including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and water treatment supplies to provide clean drinking water.

The Ongoing Work of Samaritan’s Purse in Ethiopia

Samaritan’s Purse established an Ethiopia field office in Addis Ababa in June 2019. In early 2021, our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) members began responding to urgent needs created by armed conflict in the north of the country.

Samaritan’s Purse completed four DC-8 airlifts in 2021, transporting emergency relief supplies, including food, hygiene kits, and shelter materials to help tens of thousands of displaced people.

Our work has also included operating a Mobile Medical Unit. Our staff members, working alongside Ethiopian medical personnel, filled a critical gap in medical care for displaced families as fighting caused structural damage and a worker shortage in local healthcare facilities.

Samaritan’s Purse has a long history in Ethiopia, dating back to 1989 when we installed freshwater wells and instituted agriculture programs in the country during widespread drought and famine.

More than 13 tons of supplies will be provided to assist medical centers in distressed parts of the country.

More than 13 tons of supplies will be provided to assist medical centers in distressed parts of the country. Please pray for the safe delivery of these items and their effective use to treat the hurting.

Article updated through Feb. 21.

We began today receiving patients at the respiratory care unit.
Emergency Medicine Your gift will enable Samaritan’s Purse to provide life-saving medical care (including doctors, nurses, respirators, and other essential equipment) to hurting and vulnerable communities. We respond in the wake of natural and manmade disasters, as well as during outbreaks of infectious diseases. We also offer public health outreaches to prevent the spread of life-threatening illnesses. Most important, our teams bring the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who are suffering and afraid.

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