COVID-19 Italy Response Press Kit


News Release: Samaritan’s Purse helping COVID-19 victims in northern Italy

Christian relief agency airlifted Emergency Field Hospital, staff to aid overwhelmed medical system

CALGARY, AB – March 18, 2020 —A Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 has transported a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital to northern Italy. The cargo plane carried approximately 20 tons of medical equipment, a specialized respiratory care unit, and 32 disaster response specialists including respiratory therapists, doctors, and nurses.

The Emergency Field Hospital is being set up just outside of Milan, where the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure, leaving many families without access to critical care. The country is now reporting hundreds of deaths each day.

“We are going to Italy to provide life-saving care in Jesus’ Name to people who are suffering,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “There is a lot of fear and panic around the world, but we put our trust in God—and we want to share that hope with others. Please continue to pray for everyone affected by this global health crisis and for our medical team as they respond.”

As Samaritan’s Purse deploys to Italy, the disaster response team continues to monitor the developing situation and is prepared to respond in other areas if needed.  Our infectious disease experts have been working with the World Health Organization to ensure the team is taking necessary precautions.

Media Opportunities

  • Interview Ian Stokes, international disaster response director with Samaritan’s Purse Canada
  • Broadcast-quality b-roll will be available upon request
  • High-res photos of the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 being loaded are available here

Donations Needed

To support Samaritan’s Purse’s medical relief efforts, please visit (click on “Donate”) or call 1-800-663-6500.

About Samaritan’s Purse Canada

Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian relief and development organization that takes its name from Jesus Christ’s biblical story of the Good Samaritan. Like that Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him, we aid victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. Besides medical relief, our work includes collecting and distributing gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, providing safe water, teaching vocational skills, and providing agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world. Learn more at


Media Inquiries:

Frank King

News Media Relations Manager, Samaritan’s Purse Canada

403-990-0161 (mobile),