Friday, December 3, 2010

Maersk Step Up With 300 Containers For Shipping To African Charity

Once Again Freight Industry Shows its Compassionate Side
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – DENMARK – Over decades shipping containers have demonstrated their versatility, as emergency and luxury housing, even as aquaria and instant medical facilities because when disaster hits, timely relief aid is crucial. This is why the charity Advance Aid is placing 90,000 emergency kits at strategic locations across Africa – and Maersk Line has donated 300 containers worth $500,000 to help store them.

Advance Aid is UK-registered charity dedicated to creating jobs in Africa through a radical re-deployment of the world's emergency relief budgets. The organisation’s mission is to enhance disaster preparedness by significantly increasing the pre-positioning of locally manufactured non-food emergency relief goods, so that they are in place, close to potential disaster areas, in advance of any humanitarian crisis.

Advance Aid is stockpiling emergency kits locally which can be used to service African emergencies, and the containers donated by Maersk Line will provide the organisation with much needed storage space. The kits consist of non-food items, such as shelters, hygiene kits, blankets etc., and are designed to house a family of five people who have been displaced. When all the kits are fully in place in three years’ time, Advance Aid will be able to reach 450,000 people in 30 countries within 24 hours of the onset of an emergency.

David Dickie, chief executive of Advance Aid said of the donation:

“This is a fantastically generous gift on the part of Maersk, this is a key piece in the jigsaw that we are putting together. We are aiming to build a stockpile of 90,000 emergency kits in strategically located warehouses across Africa and this gift will give us storage space for all of these kits.”

The kits are made up of a shelter, a water carrier, a stove, blankets, hygiene kit and a kitchen set and, besides the aid the kits would give in an emergency, the kits also provide significant employment to African companies as the contents of the kits are all manufactured locally.

Within the next few weeks, the first containers will arrive in Mombasa, Kenya, to reach the first of three regions: East Africa (Nairobi/Mombasa/Kampala), Southern Africa (Durban/Jo’berg/Maputo) and West Africa (Accra).

"Maersk Line is happy to support a cause that not only provides jobs for Africa, but also helps to ensure timely relief when a disaster hits. As a company with a large market presence in Africa, Maersk Line is strongly committed to future development of the African continent," commented Søren Toft, VP of Maersk Line Operations.