Our approach to business
Responding globally, meeting needs locally
“Emergency relief is the nature of our business and requires a holistic and sustainable approach.”
In April 2015, Nepal faced a complex disaster when a devastating earthquake hit the mountainous country. At NRS International, our aim was to effectively assist affected populations through our holistic ‘Rapid Response Strategy’ (RRS) approach that respected local needs and communities. We witnessed our multipurpose tents being put to inspirational use at the prominent Amitabha monastery in Nepal, making a difference to the lives of 300 nuns. This was just one small part of a much more comprehensive response.
Activating our award-winning RRS approach
We work hand in hand with global aid agencies and local NGOs on the ground to ensure a successful and fast supply chain of high quality shelters, life-saving core relief items, solar lights and mosquito nets.
1. Formation of 24/7 rapid response taskforce
- Mobilizing internal support team
- Data collection and initial situational analysis
2. Field assessments
- Understanding how to optimize our intervention
- Learn about challenges faced by aid agencies who are responding
- Provide technical advice to shelter coordinators
- Identify best logistical approach
3. Logistical support
- 80% of humanitarian support is logistics
- Mobilizing our emergency stock from Pakistan and Dubai
- In-house logistics team for professional support
- Shipment by air (including emergency charters), land and sea
4. Build community resilience
- Develop partnerships for emergency response
- Support post-disaster initiatives
As a result of this integrated and immediate response approach, we were shortlisted for the 2016 UPS International Disaster Relief Award hosted by Business in the Community. The award recognized businesses that make a unique contribution to addressing international disasters and help communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
Rapid response to the Rohingya refugee crisis
Field assessment in Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh
“Evaluating the situation on the ground allows us to better understand how to efficiently respond to the crisis, at the same time enable the humanitarian organizations to efficiently distribute vital aid to the affected communities. As technical experts, we strive to find the best logistic solutions to facilitate the supply chain of emergency relief items.”
In the early fall of 2017, almost 600,000 Rohingya refugees have poured into Bangladesh, a mass movement dubbed by the UN Refugee Agency as the ‘fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world.’ Working hand in hand with local aid agencies, we were one of the first relief suppliers to visit Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. Our aim was to understand the challenges faced by the field teams and to assess the existing needs of the beneficiaries. We activated our RRS approach so that aid agencies and local authorities get the required supplies of emergency response materials as quickly as possible.
Relief products supplied
Despite logistical challenges, we managed to get the much-needed relief items directly to Myanmar and Bangladesh using air and sea transportation:
- more than 100,000 thermal blankets
- more than 200,000 sleeping mats
- 60,000 tarpaulins
- 36,000 water containers
- 21,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets
- 4 mobile storage units
Collaborating with local NGOs on the ground
In the space of just a few short days in September ‘17, many islands of the Caribbean were hit by Irma and Maria, two of the most destructive hurricanes in recent years. In the British Virgin Islands, the storms wiped out much of the infrastructure and barely left a house standing. In response to the needs identified by our local partners on the ground, our Latin America team traveled to Puerto Rico to assess the current situation and to collaborate with various organizations that are committed to relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts on the hurricane-hit islands.
Building resilience and raising awareness
Develop partnerships for response and post-disaster initiative
As a private company working with the non-profit sector, we take our role in the humanitarian supply chain seriously. More than just providing emergency relief items, we are also committed to build community resiliency and to raise awareness for people to take action on the pressing global issues.
Internal awareness campaign
An internal fundraising campaign was launched soon after the Nepal earthquake happened in 2015. It made our already dedicated staff even more committed to go the extra mile. Senior management acknowledged these unprecedented efforts and decided to more than double the amount raised from USD 4,000 to USD 8,739.72.
External awareness campaign
We have used our efforts in Nepal to create awareness in the MENA region by launching a public relations campaign to mark 100 days after the quake. This culminated in our radio interview with the leading Dubai radio station, Dubai Eye.
Sharing lessons learned with the academic community
We shared our experiences with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and enriched their research, particularly on how we supported international response teams. This further enriched their research, helping them convey the message to the world.