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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Direct Relief is Investing $40M to Strengthen and Expand the Supply Chain for Humanitarian Medical Aid

Why Direct Relief is Investing $40M to Strengthen and Expand the Supply Chain for Humanitarian Medical Aid

With $25 million secured, organization launches public campaign to meet growing demands in U.S., globally

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 29, 2016 – Direct Relief today broke ground on what will become the largest accredited distribution hub for humanitarian medical aid in the United States. Located on a 7.99-acre parcel in Santa Barbara, California, the new facility will meet heightened federal requirements for security and storage of prescription medications and increase efficiencies for Direct Relief’s expanding humanitarian activities that serve people throughout the United States and globally.

Now the ninth-largest U.S. charity, according to Forbes, Direct Relief runs the largest charitable medicines program in the United States and is among the largest providers of humanitarian medical aid in the world, both to meet ongoing needs and in response to emergencies.

“More than ever before in its 68-year history, Direct Relief is being called upon to assist people who are vulnerable – who endure poverty or crisis situations, and who often confront both,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “This project is critically important for Direct Relief to fulfill its longstanding humanitarian role of providing essential medical support to those most in need.”

A Warehouse for a Better World

Built to accommodate the increasing demand for Direct Relief’s services, the new headquarters and distribution center will be 155,000 square feet – nearly four times the size of Direct Relief’s main facility in Goleta – making it the largest accredited distribution hub for humanitarian medical aid in the nation.

By incorporating state-of-the-art distribution technology, it will also transform how the organization mobilizes medical aid and dramatically increase the efficiency of its services.

To complete and endow the new facility, Direct Relief today announced a $40 million fundraising campaign, for which it already has secured $25 million in private contributions and pledges from corporate partners, foundations, and individuals, with lead gifts from FedEx, the Zegar Family Foundation, and Dorothy Largay and Wayne Rosing.

“FedEx is honored to support the lifesaving work of Direct Relief as part of our FedEx Cares initiative,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president, Integrated Marketing and Communications at FedEx. “The new headquarters and medical distribution warehouse will help Direct Relief do what it does best – provide immediate relief to men, women, and children who need it most.”

The Highest Standards for Humanitarian Medical Aid

Direct Relief’s tradition of adapting business tools and approaches to its public-benefit humanitarian mission led it to become licensed as a California drug wholesaler more than 50 years ago. In turn, the organization was among the first nonprofit organizations licensed in the same manner as commercial businesses to accept, store, and provide donations of prescription medications needed by persons unable to afford them.

This role has expanded as gaps and needs have expanded, including in the United States. In 2009, Direct Relief became the first and remains the only U.S. charity to be designated by The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) as a Verified-Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) and licensed to distribute prescription medications in all 50 states. The accreditation attaches to an organization’s physical plant – the building in which prescription drugs are stored – not to the organization.

The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), enacted in 2013 as federal law, raised those requirements for any organization that owns, stores, handles, or distributes prescription drugs.

California-Based for 68 Years and Counting

Preceding the purchase of the land, Direct Relief conducted careful cost and viability analyses of different scenarios, considering options that included relocating its entire operation or keeping its headquarters in Santa Barbara while building its new warehouse elsewhere.

The conclusion of these analyses was that building the new facility in Santa Barbara will best position Direct Relief for maintaining the current quality, credibility, and performance of both staff and the organization.

“Direct Relief has called Santa Barbara home for 68 years while improving the lives of families around the world,” said U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara). “This new facility will allow them to continue doing their meaningful work that helps so many. We are fortunate to have an organization with such a global impact right here in our local community, and I am so pleased that Direct Relief and the City of Santa Barbara worked together to make this new facility possible.”

Based in Santa Barbara, California since its 1948 founding by war-immigrant refugees, Direct Relief has long served as a critical local resource for Santa Barbara’s emergency-preparedness and response efforts.

In constructing the new facility, Direct Relief can continue to serve the Santa Barbara community well into the future.

“The Santa Barbara community has been and remains central to Direct Relief’s work,” said Dr. Angel Iscovich, Chair of Direct Relief’s Board of Directors. “This is an incredibly important moment in the history of Direct Relief, and we are grateful to the Santa Barbara community and the generous supporters who are helping make this new facility a reality.”

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