We believe that it’s essential to be on-the-ground and in close proximity to the people we help. This way we can better understand their needs and respond appropriately and efficiently. Our partnerships with national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies are key to this proximity.
Staying close to the people we serve while also ensuring the safety of our staff is a serious challenge in many parts of the world, such as Afghanistan, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria or Somalia. Fighting and insecurity often prevent aid workers from reaching people caught up in armed conflict. In some cases, the authorities or rebel groups hinder the delivery of aid or simply refuse access to vulnerable communities. In rare but nonetheless distressing cases, we have had to face the difficult choice of suspending our vital humanitarian work because of insecurity or political barriers.
For us, ensuring that fighting parties understand that we do not take sides and are only interested in helping impartially those suffering the consequences of conflict or violence is the key for reaching the people that so desperately need help.