The Darfur Project
In 2007, the Bridge Foundation committed, with financial support from the Wall Street financial community, to funding and supporting eight airlifts loaded with specifically requested cargo to assist those in Darfur and Eastern Chad most in need. The Darfur Project was a collaboration of individuals and financial firms who chose to address the complex humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The project works closely with partners in the US and abroad to ensure the most needed supplies are delivered in a timely fashion.
In 2007, the Bridge Foundation committed to funding and supporting eight airlifts loaded with specifically requested cargo to assist those in Darfur and Eastern Chad most in need. With financial support from the Wall Street financial community, the project works closely with partners in the US and abroad to ensure the most needed supplies are delivered in a timely fashion.
As of January 2010, five airlifts have been successfully completed. A sixth airlift was scheduled to have been completed in April 2010.
MEASURE OF SUCCESS
1 In monitoring the practical, effective, and targeted relief by recording how many people directly benefit from the medicines and supplies sent to the camps.
2. In measuring the long term effect of the invaluable commitment made by the financial community in seeking to alleviate large-scale suffering.
3. In building on the momentum of initiatives such as The Darfur Project to create a forum within the financial community to help direct the spotlight on seemingly intractable global issues.
The Darfur Project will respond to the express needs of local partners. The project will procure supplies from first tier sources and will arrange logistical modalities including all necessary permits and requisite documentation. The project will ensure proper and efficient distribution of supplies with follow up to determine successful completion of the project.
Having listened to discussions during the Religious and Ethnic Conflict sessions at the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, and most notably first-hand accounts by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast, Christine Ward, was particularly struck by the situation in Darfur. A refusal to be a bystander as the crisis deepened, a desire to have a more personal impact than the traditional aid channels (based on personal experience after the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan) and a growing desire to help, led to action. Through a mutual friend she was connected with the Managing Directors of The Bridge Foundation, a not-for-profit in Connecticut with unique and personal experience in disaster relief. This combination of direct assistance and expertise in logistics was exactly what was required for the implementation of the project.
$200,000 was required to fill a plane with medical supplies and to ensure its fast and effective delivery. Christine approached Bill Demchak, a longtime friend and Vice Chairman of PNC, who invited Andrew Feldstein and three others to join him in funding the first half of this plane, and within two weeks raised the remaining necessary funds from a handful of individuals within the financial community. The first plane arrived in Nyala, Darfur on April 10th, 2007, delivering critical medical supplies such as anti-protozoal agents to treat 7,000 people for parasitic infections, antibiotics to treat 4,200 people for bacterial infections, scabacide to treat 2,000 people for scabies and lice, syringes, and needles for 18,400 injections and oral rehydration salts to provide 10,000 therapies to counter dehydration from diarrhea. After the successful completion of the first mission the decision was made to broaden the scope to the greater financial community to raise awareness and impact more lives.
The Bridge Foundation’s initial goal was to complete eight flights in eighteen months. They took four years to complete six flights and some additional separate shipments. The Darfur Project delivered over $17 million worth of essential medicine over its duration. All supplies were on the WHO’s list of essential drugs and in compliance with the Sudan Ministry of Health criteria. These include, multivitamins to treat 26,500 children for one month; Oral Rehydration Therapy units to produce 152,000 treatments to combat diarrhea. (in children alone this quantity of ORT could save approximately 7 percent of under five deaths); Mebendezole to treat 48,300 people for parasite and worm infections; Amoxicillin to treat 120,700 adults for infections; antibacterials to treat 52,250 people for various infections; anti-malarial agents to treat 47,600 people for malaria with another 24,000 treatment protocols for Chloroquine resistant malaria cases; 32,000 IV bags of Ringers Lactate for fluid resuscitation after a blood loss due to dysentery trauma, surgery or a burn injury; 64,000 disposable syringes and needles; and enough F 100 to produce 24,280 liters of Therapeutic milk for the use in the rehabilitation phase of severely malnourished children.
SEEKING: Financial resources, other. Financial resources to offset logistical modalities. Medicines and medical supplies (all products must be on World Health Organization ‘List of Essential Drugs,’ manufactured under GMP (Good Manufacturing Guidelines), in original packaging and with a minimum of two years dating where applicable).