The UPS Foundation, which leads the global citizenship efforts of UPS, is expanding its work with Zipline, a California-based robotics company, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to leverage drones to deliver lifesaving blood, medicines and vaccines to remote communities.
The expanded support comes as The UPS Foundation awards 2018 grants and in-kind support totaling more than $16 million to nonprofit, non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies for humanitarian relief, community resilience and safety programs worldwide.
The global partnership with Zipline and Gavi, which formed in May 2016 and formally launched the first drone deliveries in October 2016, has resulted in more than 4,000 drone deliveries expediting over 7,000 units of blood to remote hospitals across Rwanda. The drone delivery network has proven so successful that in 2018, it’s being expanded across all of Rwanda, says The UPS Foundation.
“This groundbreaking partnership with Gavi and Zipline provides access to lifesaving medical supplies in only minutes, rather than hours, for millions of men, women and children in need,” states Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “With this expansion, the reach of the drone program will double from 6 million to 12 million people across Rwanda. Additionally, the initiative will expand to deliver basic medications, vaccines and medical supplies to hospitals and health clinics via drone.”
The UPS Foundation says its top goal is to leverage its philanthropy, the resources of UPS and the expertise of its employees to create public-private partnerships that are dedicated to advance the resiliency of communities around the world.