Humanitarian supplies made in the field: It’s a simple idea with profound and far- reaching implications. At present, getting goods is a time consuming, expensive and cumbersome process. In South Sudan, for example, it costs between $10,000 and $30,000 to distribute only $1,000 of health supplies. This needs to change.
At Field Ready, we’re addressing these problems head-on. We’re bringing local manufacturing to the humanitarian sector and, in the process, shrinking the supply chain. The result will be aid that is faster, less expensive and, ultimately, better.
We have the ability to work in any sector using a wide range of technologies. In the process, we can repair expensive items to put them back in use, customize unique parts and mass-produce supplies. The result may be lifesaving equipment used in search and rescue (or prepared for disaster risk reduction), water pipe fixtures for WASH interventions, medical disposables, whistles and locks for protection projects and cook stove fittings and gardening tools for livelihood programs.
To do this, we are using a five-step process to move manufacturing out to the field. This includes:
By far our biggest task, however, has little to do with technology or manufacturing, but rather is to change people’s mindsets. We will accomplish this over time through training, publications and other ways of spreading our know base. Our goal is to build self-sufficiencies among the groups we serve, sharing what we know freely and openly.
With HIF’s support, we first demonstrated that our approach was possible in Haiti. Over the last year and a half, we have expanded our efforts to Nepal and Syria. Over the next two years, we expect to significantly increase our presence worldwide and make our approach a standard way of working in international aid. While doing so, we expect to learn from mistakes and leverage successes in order to maximize our impact and contribute to a significant transformation within the humanitarian sector.
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