Hope is taking flight as Ascent Charity deploys drones to deliver humanitarian aid into Ukraine.
Credit photo: AerialMetric
As more civilians continue to suffer from the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the need for immediate humanitarian assistance has never been more imperative. However, the challenge now is getting the critical aid into the affected areas with supply routes cut, and without sending on-ground personnel.
French non-profit organization, Ascent Charity is driving an innovative effort to bring humanitarian aid by drones: Ukraine Aid Initiative by Drones (U-AID). Endorsed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, U-AID will initially deliver goods and supplies provided by the State of Emergency Service of Ukraine into the country’s western and central regions, as soon and as far as possible. Emergency relief drone operator AerialMetric will fly the drones, and Ascent will orchestrate the flights from neighbouring countries into Ukraine, initially.
Through U-AID, Ascent Charity and Ascent are bringing awareness to the long-lasting impact of war on the population and its effect on citizens' health and precarity, especially for communities located in war zones that have no access to medical care.
Furthermore, Ascent Charity has recently launched a GoFundMe page to fundraise EUR 10,000,000 in order to carry out this very important mission of deploying a fleet of 50 cargo drones from neighbouring countries of Ukraine that will secure food and medication to civilians into conflict zones, where no one else can. GoFundMe fundraiser donations, as well as corporate ones, will cover the procurement of the 50 drones, operating costs, logistics, human resources, and training required to operationalize this initiative. The operation is set to begin within a couple of weeks once EUR 300,000 worth of donations is raised as the initial target.
How you can pledge your support
You can donate directly on U-AID’s GoFundMe page. As an incentive, all donors will have their names added to the “Hope Takes Flight” online dashboard, which will go live as soon as the drone operations come into effect.
With EUR 10,000 worth of donations, the donors will be able to pick a name for a drone flight, where each drone flight will be broadcasted on Twitter in real-time, with a projection of up to 50 flights per day. Meanwhile, with EUR 200,000 worth of donations, the donors will be able to name a drone with a special mention of the donor’s name on Ascent Charity’s Twitter post. In addition, Ascent Charity is also planning to enable donors to track their drone flights online, every day.
How U-AID will operationalize this initiative
U-AID deliveries will be carried out in two phases. First, during the conflict time the drones will take off from bases in neighbouring countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, and Slovakia. Once the humanitarian corridors have been established and secured, the range of drone deliveries will extend to achieve greater distances. Under normal conditions, the drone will cover up to 300 Km, depending on its payload. Relay stations in the country are being set up to enable further reach. Second, during the rebuilding phase, drones will be deployed throughout the country.
Using AerialMetric’s flagship drone Savior 330 (or S330), which is specifically designed to make deliveries in challenging environments with a speed of up to 150 km/h, drones are able to carry a maximum payload of up to 10kg, delivered from altitudes as high as 5,000m.
Delivering aid to conflict zones remains extremely challenging due to damaged roads and life-threatening risks. Using drones to airlift and drop humanitarian aid not only minimizes the risk of losing human lives but is proven to be more cost-effective and strategic as it allows easy access to terrains that are considered inaccessible by ground personnel.
For more information on how you can be part of this flight mission to send hope to children, men and women of Ukraine, visit Ascent Charity’s GoFundMe page.
U-AID is officially endorsed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (7280/09-2022), the regional governments of Kyiv (80-B), Kherson Oblast (01-01-71-2254/0/22/338), and the National Police of Ukraine, and organised in partnership with the State Emergency Services of Ukraine.
About Ascent Charity
Ascent Charity is an independent charity registered in France (Loi 1901, W313036218, 2022). The mission of Ascent Charity is to provide vital humanitarian assistance and aid via air transport to vulnerable populations in times of crisis.
Ascent is a leading air mobility company headquartered in Singapore. Since 2018, Ascent has run operations such as air taxis, touristic, cargo, and medical services. Ascent ambitions to mass-market green air mobility, to better connect people. Ascent is operational in South East Asia, South America, and the United Arab Emirates. Today, Ascent makes use of helicopters, planes, and drones. In hand with manufacturers, it catalyzes the entry of all-electric aircraft such as e-VTOLs.
AerialMetric is a leading provider of drone-powered last-mile delivery solutions, focusing on emerging and fragile settings. Since 2019, the French/Malagasy company has been flying daily and has delivered tons of life-saving health supplies including hundreds of thousands of vaccines to remote, hard-to-reach communities. AerialMetric is working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, with the support of large international organizations such as WWF, The Global Fund, USAID.
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For more information, please visit U-AID webpage