Advance Aid: a new initiative27/01/2006
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Corporate support is being sought for a new initiative to revolutionize the way in which emergency relief supplies are delivered worldwide.
The initiative, called Advance Aid, hopes to attract financing and expertise from Western companies with a goal of pre-positioning enough emergency relief materials worldwide to save up to one million victims in case of disaster - but to have all the materials manufactured exclusively in Africa, giving much needed stimulus to local economies there.
David Dickie, director of London-based Advance Aid, which has offices in East and West Africa, said: 'As last year's devastating emergencies proved, the current situation is simply not working, partly due to political and donor policies. Emergency aid arrives too late and is manufactured in the wrong areas of the world.
'The logistics costs involved in transportation alone often dwarf the cost of the aid materials being delivered. By manufacturing these goods in Africa in advance, they can be delivered by cheaper shipping methods to worldwide warehousing, reducing the costs significantly, with Africa getting a shot in the arm economically.'
Advance Aid wants to work with western company sponsors to establish a recyclable fund that enables emergency aid materials to be manufactured in advance by African companies, with participating businesses donating expertise as well as cash. Corporate donors will be asked to provide investment over three years, as well as management expertise and help with filling skill gaps in Africa, thereby allowing NGOs to concentrate on their core expertise and African suppliers to move towards profitability.
In return, says Advance Aid, corporate donors will get access to Africa's emerging markets, employee volunteering and sabbatical opportunities in African conditions, and the possibility of local partnerships with African companies and governments.
Corporates that would like to talk to Advance Aid about the idea, or seek further information, can contact David Dickie on email@example.com or by ringing + 44 (0) 7818 420977
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