The partnership between MAF and Medair enables the rapid delivery of life-saving relief, such as health care and safe drinking water, to vulnerable people affected by crisis or conflict.”Without MAF’s air support, it would be impossible for Medair to reach out to the most vulnerable people in very remote and hard-to-reach areas,” recounts David Verboom, Medair’s CEO. The formal agreement allows Medair and MAF to coordinate a response within 24 hours of a large natural disaster or declared emergency.
David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF in the USA, echoes that sentiment. “Throughout MAF’s history, partnership has been a centerpiece of our efforts to reach those who are isolated and hurting with the life-changing love of Christ. Our ongoing relationship with Medair during times of crisis enables us to serve together in a strong and collaborative manner.”
When Super Typhoon Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong, hit the northeast coast of the Philippines on September 15, Medair and MAF rapidly mobilised their emergency response teams. The MAF team conducted aerial surveys of the affected areas and reported to Medair on the needs of coastal and remote communities that seemed to be among the most severely hit, and where no one else was helping. The people who lived there were extremely isolated and relief could only get to them by air or boat. MAF organised essential helicopter flights within days of the disaster to enable Medair to deliver food and shelter supplies to more than 500 families.
Although the formal agreement to collaborate during disasters was signed recently, the partnership is a long-standing one. Together with MEDAF (Médicaments pour L’Afrique), and YWAM (Youth With A Mission), MAF founded Medair in 1989, giving it the mandate to provide emergency aid quickly. A few years later, Medair became independent of its three founding organizations, and it has continued to partner with MAF ever since.
For almost thirty years, Medair and MAF have worked together in multiple emergency and crisis situations in countries such as Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Nepal. In South Sudan, a country with only 300 kilometres of paved roads and a seven-month rainy season that turns dirt roads into muddy rivers, MAF flies almost weekly to Medair’s project sites. These flights transport Medair personnel and cargo, ranging from emergency nutrition supplies, medicines, water filters, and bikes for community outreach workers to team office and food supplies.
“We are grateful to play a role in the life-saving mission of Medair. They are a true partner in reaching the isolated and hurting people of the world,” says Dave Fyock, CEO of MAF International, based in the UK.
David Verboom and Dave Fyock met last week to discuss future collaborative opportunities.