Ahead of AidEx 2017 in Brussles, we spoke to the managing director of Turkey-based supply chain company Escudo Group, Mehmet Ihsan Kalkan about the challenges of supplying the humanitarian aid and development sector.
Could you tell us about your job and the activities of your company?
Escudo Group is an international supply chain company, which provides humanitarian aid products, services and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers internationally. This includes food commodities, NFI, WASH items, medical equipment and consumables, shelter and housing items, construction materials and tools solar equipment.
In which countries do you operate?
Being primarily active in Turkey, we also operate in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, China. Our goal is to deliver to conflict areas in conflict in the region where emergency supplies are needed most.
With which NGOs does Escudo Group cooperate and how?
We work mostly with UN agencies and many other non-governmental organisations around the world like IRC, DRC, Care International, Save the Children, ACTED, NRC, and WHO for different projects. For example, we currently work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - the world's largest humanitarian organisation to provide different kinds of non-food items in Turkey and Iraq and also with UNICEF, the world's leading organisation helping children and youth. We also highly value working with local organisations.
What are your company’s objectives within the scope of international aid and development?
You cannot progress if you do not imagine; just imagine and do it. Our work system of operation is flexibility and our team is devoted to their job. We start each day with different ideas and projects and our main target is to be active in any field needed within the scope of the emergency humanitarian aid. Employee happiness equates to high productivity and together we strive for the improvement and development of human living conditions throughout the world.
What will Escudo exhibit in AidEx 2017 and why is it important for the development and aid sector?
Escudo Group will carry out general promotional meetings for some relief products and services at AidEx 2017. AidEx brings together many international organisations and globally recognized companies in the private sector operating within humanitarian aid. As well as coming together, product promotion and establishing new networks, AidEx provides the opportunity to introduce yourself to the international community. Moreover, there is great chance to establish mutually beneficial relationships with private companies operating in this sector. Therefore we consider AidEx 2017 as an important event in terms of seeing the latest developments and products around the world, accessing a wide network and collaborating with new organisaitons.
In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge today in terms of aid and development?
In my opinion, the greatest challenge in aid and development is that international communication is not clear enough. We have experienced a system that is not fully operational in terms of cooperation and activities. Emergency humanitarian aid channels must be very transparent and all obstacles to emergency humanitarian aid must be removed, especially with local representatives. All international organisations should also be able to make their work transparent as much as possible, in an auditable way and open to the public. The cooperation needs to be the foundation of each platform.
Escudo Group will be exhibiting on stand C57 at AidEx in Brussels on 15 and 16 November 2017.