The Red Cross are experts in providing human aid, but many of the aspects around the actual aid can be hard to manage in countries with poor infrastructure and hard-to-reach areas. DSV’s core business activities are transport and logistics, and tailoring solutions to any business’ need. That makes DSV a good partner for human aid work.
“I hadn’t even thought it would be possible to set up a local partnership on transport and logistics - until we talked about it today”, said Kirstine Primdal Sutton, Consortium Coordinator for Red Cross’ efforts in Malawi in November of last year, when DSV visited Malawi.
As part of the global partnership, DSV provides support to create resilient communities for the poorest families of the Southern region of the Malawi. After spending a couple of days together during the Malawi visit, the delegates from both DSV and the Red Cross found that there are many opportunities for Red Cross to gain help from DSV’s main areas of business.
Transport and logistics-related challenges for the Red Cross
On a car ride in the bumpy Malawian landscape, it turns out that some of the Red Cross’ main challenges with providing aid in Malawi is related to transport and logistics. Time is of the essence when responding disasters and that can pose a challenge in very vulnerable, rural areas.
“We move all sorts of stuff around the country. But the Red Cross only has one small truck, so we have to tender for the rest of the transport we need”, tells Kirstine Primdal.
As Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, the infrastructure and the road network pose challenges in getting aid to the rural areas.
“The Red Cross has quite an intense supply chain here in Malawi and that’s one of the ways DSV can try and assist. We can help optimise and create efficiencies in transport and logistics processes – so you can strike while the iron is hot during a disaster” says Marius Viljoen, Director, DSV Malawi A&S to Kirstine and continues
“I look forward to the future partnership between DSV and the Red Cross’ activities in Malawi, because I think we’ll have a lot of opportunities to try and alleviate some of the challenges the Red Cross face here.”
Our expertise makes a big difference for the aid
DSV has provided support to the Red Cross project in Malawi since 2016 and will continue to provide support the coming year. Senior Manager, Martin Lunow, Group CSR, also participated on the visit in Malawi. He says about local support:
“As Red Cross is our human aid partner, it’s very meaningful for us to be able to help with what we do best, namely transport and logistics. Our expertise can help make a big difference for reaching people quickly, e.g. in case of a natural disaster. And our assistance will help free resources for the Red Cross | Red Crescent to do actual aid work and not logistics around it.”
Kirstine Primdal Sutton agrees: “It should be standard curriculum for the private sector and aid-organisations to spend more time together - we could lift much more together. It’s about building on top of each other with what we do. The private sector is here, working in the area - moving things – and we should be working together”
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