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Three more trucks hit the road: Delivering life-saving aid

It’s Friday afternoon. We finish loading the last of three trucks full of corn soya blend. These trucks will leave Nairobi today, heading north on their way to families in need of food.

A couple of final checks and we’re set. The trucks are secure and the drivers are ready to go.


As they set off, I think about what’s ahead of them. They’ll be on the road for nearly two weeks, driving for long days on hot, dusty tracks to deliver this where it is needed. I head back to our office. There are many more trucks like this that need to be organised.

As an Emergency Procurement Manager for Save the Children, my job is to find, buy and deliver essential items. We do a wide range of procurement in a response like this – life-saving medicines, water bladders to deliver clean water, and crucial foods like corn soya blend –a protein and vitamin enriched porridge – and nutrient-rich peanut paste.

One carton of nutrient-rich peanut paste treats one malnourished child for a month. And children love the taste!

Two weeks, ten trucks

The three drivers and their trucks leaving Nairobi this afternoon are part of a network of people all around the world who are mobilised to move these essential items to where they are needed.

Over the last couple of weeks alone, we have sent 360 metric tonnes worth of food or 10 full truck loads out from Nairobi.

Air, land and sea

Right now there are over 5,000 cartons of nutrient-rich peanut paste on the move. 2,000 cartons arrived from Britain by plane yesterday. 2,000 are leaving France today by sea. Others are being prepared right now to be sent by truck from Kenya. It means we can treat 5,000 malnourished children for a month.

More is on the way.

One step closer

It takes time to organise all of this. We want to make sure we know what is going on at any given moment, so we check in every couple of hours with our suppliers to sort out any problems and keep the deliveries on track.

Organising transport can take a lot of time too – making sure we have all the correct customs authorisations and, if the schedule changes, staying involved to keep the impetus up.

Sometimes I get caught up in all these details. But when I see the trucks pull off, at least I know its one step closer to the families who need it. 

This post was written by Cormac O’Sullivan, Emergency Procurement Manager, Somalia.

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