When disasters occur around the world, rapid assistance and fast logistics are paramount. To ensure that relief supplies are delivered to where they are urgently needed, Amazon's disaster relief and response team leverages our global resources and logistics network. Since 2017, Amazon has donated more than 13 million relief items in response to 59 natural disasters around the world. This week, a relief flight departed from Munich, Germany, for the first time to the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. On board the cargo plane were 850,000 COVID-19 personal protective items--including medical masks, goggles, and full-face protection for medical staff.

A third wave of COVID-19 recently hit Nepal's most vulnerable populations with full force. In April and May 2021, the pandemic reached unprecedented levels, with a 1,200% increase in cases in one month and the highest per capita positivity rate, ever. Protective equipment, masks, intensive care beds, oxygen for ventilators, and vaccines have been scarce. Therefore, the U.N. World Food Programme and Amazon teamed up to quickly deliver relief to impacted communities in Nepal.

"This donation from Amazon to the Government of Nepal facilitated by WFP is a great example of how the private sector and WFP can work together to support Nepal and other countries in the fight against COVID-19," said Jane Pearce, U.N. World Food Programme country director in Nepal. "Personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles, and face shields airlifted by Amazon today are critically important to keep health care workers safe."

Teams from the Amazon logistics sites in Graben, Werne, and Oberhausen, Germany prepared the protective supplies for shipment for the aid flight to Nepal. In Kathmandu, the U.N. World Food Programme is working with the Nepalese government to distribute the protective equipment to relief organizations and hospitals.

Amazon's disaster relief and response efforts leverage Amazon's vast operational excellence, innovative technologies, and global logistics network to provide fast and effective support to worldwide operations fighting large-scale natural disasters. Amazon has filled cargo jets and shipped truckloads of Amazon-donated items for communities ravaged by hurricanes, sent solar-powered lights to people living without power after tsunamis, enabled customers to easily donate products and cash on Amazon.com, and helped organizations--including governments and nonprofits—expedite response efforts at scale through our AWS cloud services.