World Humanitarian Day: Making a difference to those affected by armed conflict
World Humanitarian Day is held on 19 August every year. In 2017, it focuses on armed conflict in a show of support for the millions of people trapped through no fault of their own. Organised by the United Nations, this global online campaign aims to raise awareness of those struggling to survive in war-torn areas, and we at NRS International urge you to sign their petition to send a clear message to leaders around the world that ongoing humanitarian assistance and protection is more vital than ever.
Image credit: UNHCR / Cengiz Yar
Currently there are more than 100 million people around the world that are in desperate need of such assistance. Our subsidiary NRS Relief manufactures the products needed to help improve their lives. From refugee shelters and core relief items through to multi-purpose shelters and mobile warehouses, our products are designed to alleviate suffering in any situation.
The UN has identified five key groups of people currently at risk from the ravages of armed conflict. In this blog we examine how our products can make a difference to each group.
Protecting civilians under fire in urban areas
Millions of civilians are currently affected by armed conflict in urban areas. Due to artillery shelling and bombings, they often struggle with their everyday lives. Their homes may have been damaged, it is often difficult to get access to safe water, and they may have lost all their possessions. Recent conflict in Aleppo and Mosul show just how devastating urban warfare can be, with an almost total loss of infrastructure.
NRS Relief manufactures a comprehensive range of disaster relief supplies to ensure that aid agencies can deliver the appropriate items to affected populations in such war-torn urban areas. Tarpaulins are a mainstay of such operations and are highly recommended to make damaged structures inhabitable. Water containers such as our Aquatainer jerry cans and Pura water buckets are vital for the safe storage of water and the avoidance of deadly diseases such as cholera. Blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and hygiene kits complete a comprehensive range of disaster relief essentials.
Giving children hope
We recognise that children are the hardest hit in any crisis. Their world is turned upside down, and with school buildings being destroyed they run risk of missing out on a decent education. In Syria alone it is estimated that 1.8 million children and adolescents are out of school and not receiving any form of education.
NRS Relief specifically develops multi-purpose shelters for use as schoolrooms. One such tent, the Huggy, has high ceilings, over-sized windows and extra ventilation, making it a great classroom, and it comes in a variety of sizes to suit any requirement. The tent is also safe. All materials used are fully fire retardant, and the tent can withstand extreme temperatures and desert storms.
Making the job of humanitarian workers easier
Humanitarian aid workers always find themselves in the front line. Last year alone, 91 aid workers were killed, 88 were injured and 73 were kidnapped in the line of duty. NRS Relief recognises the incredibly difficult situation that the humanitarian workers have to work under, and so we design and develop our products to be as flexible and easy to use as possible.
One example is our RexHall series of mobile warehouses. These large structures, up to 360 square meters and beyond in size, have been designed so that they are very easy to set up with just six people who need no prior technical experience. Even though the warehouses are more than 5 metres high, no lifting equipment is required and all components are designed to be carried easily by one or two people. Other examples are provided by our new family tent, the GeoHome, and the HuggyPRO multi-purpose tent, where colour coded parts can be easily and quickly assembled.
Providing the right environment for health workers
In urban war zones, many multi-lateral agencies and NGOs will be present giving medical aid on the ground. The need for safe, clean and hygienic spaces is paramount. Learning from our experiences in other crisis zones, an in particular during the West African Ebola crisis, we realised the importance of a fit-for-purpose medical structure. This led us to the development of the HuggyPRO tent.
Our research team went back to the drawing board and developed a brand new PE fabric for the HuggyPRO™ cover, that is strong, durable, lightweight, UV and fire resistant, and impervious to water, rot and mildew. This has the added advantage of being easy to clean, and resistant to most disinfectants and detergents, making the tent ideal for medical uses.
The HuggyPRO™ tents offer sufficient space to place hospitals beds opposite each other, leaving room for a walkway in between. The tents can be fitted with an inner tent and partition walls to create separate areas for triage, treatment and hospitalisation. By connecting several tents together, each tent can have an individual function such as operating theatre, ICU, radiology or storage.
Putting a roof above the heads of forcibly displaced people
Armed conflict usually results in the mass exodus of a civilian population, often leaving with just the clothes on their back. Shelter thus becomes the number one priority. NRS Relief’s heritage of manufacturing refugee tents stretches back more than 40 years, and product development never stops. NRS Relief recently collaborated with shelter design specialists at IFRC/ICRC to develop a new tent with meeting all minimum requirements, at the lowest possible cost. This led to the GeoHome, which offers easier transportation and set-up, increased stability and wind resistance, avoidance of fire risk, greater adaptability to diverse climates, and larger and more comfortable living space for beneficiaries.
Empowering humanitarian operations globally
Last year, the products that we supplied to humanitarian organisations helped more than 95 million people around the world. Whilst we commemorate World Humanitarian Day today, we are dedicated to empowering humanitarian operations globally 24/7, 365 days a year.