Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kuwaiti Freight And Logistics Firm Assist With African Relief Aid Supply Chain

Agility Join Partners in Emergency Program
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – One of the factors in providing emergency relief aid is the distances involved in supplying essential supplies coupled with the fact that, at least in the case of Africa, the goods are usually sourced from another continent. Now Kuwaiti freight and logistics specialists Agility, have joined with two other agencies with the intention of supplying African produced goods to African emergencies.

The alliance between Agility, children’s charity World Vision and Advance Aid, an organisation dedicated to introducing new and innovative ways of sourcing and delivering help to those in need, is intended to reverse the trend whereby all emergency relief goods have previously been sent to Africa from the Far East, sometimes even from Europe and North America. The 5,000 Emergency Kits that Advance Aid is supplying to World Vision today are 100% locally-purchased and more than 80% African-manufactured. The partners believe that this is the first time that a largely African kit has been supplied for use in African humanitarian catastrophes.

Advance Aid has worked with a number of Kenyan manufacturers to source the goods for the Emergency Kits which can be ready and waiting, suitably sited in advance of any emergency which might occur, thus reducing the response time. Each Kit provides the basics that help a family of five to survive when they have lost everything in a natural or man-made disaster and contains plastic sheeting, blankets, a mosquito net, a kitchen set, two buckets and a hygiene kit.

Logistics and warehousing services are being provided for the initiative by Agility through its warehouses in Nairobi and Mombasa. Agility will also be working with World Vision Kenya to distribute the emergency kits, in forty-foot shipping containers provided by Advance Aid, to World Vision offices across the country where they will be stored to be ready for use in the event of emergencies striking. Nicholas Wasunna, Senior Advisor, World Vision Kenya said:

“As the frequency of emergencies increases, there is an urgent need to ensure that life saving humanitarian assistance is able to reach the most affected populations as soon as possible so as to uphold the humanitarian imperative of saving lives. World Vision is committed to remaining responsive to emergency needs and through this exciting partnership with Advance Aid and Agility we have together developed a solution that best addresses the immediate needs of vulnerable children and communities across Kenya”.

Dev Bij, Agility’s CEO of East Africa said the partnership fits well with the company’s vision of corporate social responsibility and its commitment to contribute to positive change in the East African countries that it works in and that Agility were delighted to contribute their talent for implementing an efficient supply chain to such a worthy cause. David Dickie, Chief Executive of Advance Aid added:

“We are delighted to be able to work with World Vision and Agility on this initiative.They have both shown great vision in backing this idea and helping it come to life. We are also grateful to the local manufacturers who have helped us make this possible and have seen both the value of the initiative for Africa and the opportunity that it presents to them to get back into a market that has largely moved to South East Asia. Africans should be getting the full development benefit of the huge sums of money that are spent here on emergencies. This development benefit should be bringing jobs and wealth to Africa, not just imports.”