2020. A blue HI banner is on the front of the truck
Central African Republic

Delivering humanitarian aid despite conflict, Covid-19 challenges

Humanity & Inclusion staff member Jimmy Müller Baguimala Kobé offers a glimpse into life on the logistics team during conflict in the Central African Republic.

Jimmy Müller Baguimala Kobé is not your average delivery guy. He delivers life-saving goods in a life-threatening environment. While it may be said that “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat” can stop the postal service, for Jimmy and his colleagues “neither heat, nor armed conflict, nor land mines” can stop their vital work.

Jimmy is a logistics officer for Humanity & Inclusion in the Central African Republic (CAR), based in Bangui, where millions of people and numerous NGOs depend on him and his team to deliver essential supplies amid tense and dangerous internal conflict.

 “We transport goods for humanitarian aid throughout the country. This includes medicine, kits of essential items, and coal to fuel generators in hospitals without electricity. It is extremely important to have this delivery system in place because the people need supplies, and so many organizations and NGOs providing aid here are not able to transport these items on their own. They come to us, and we make sure it gets to the [communities] for them. I love the work I do because it does such a huge service to the population.” —Jimmy Müller Baguimala Kobé, Logistics Officer for Humanity & Inclusion

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Already considered one of the poorest countries in the world, a recent blockade at the border has forced the CAR to depend on surrounding countries for goods, causing prices to skyrocket. More than 2 million people are experiencing dangerous levels of food insecurity and rely heavily on humanitarian aid to meet their needs.

“Safety is a major concern,” Jimmy explains. “Some of the internal roads are finally starting to open back up, but they are dangerous, which can block trucks and slow down road deliveries. There have been several serious incidents recently where vehicles were set on fire. Mines are also a problem, causing both injuries and deaths.”

Transportation in this context is already difficult due to fragmented infrastructure and security threats, but movement is even more constrained by Covid-19 restrictions. This further isolates the people disproportionately affected by crisis such as children, aging people, women and people with disabilities.  

“The population is experiencing a terrible crisis and urgently needs humanitarian intervention, and the work we’re doing makes that possible,” Jimmy says. “We are asking our supporters to continue helping us bring this aid to every part of the country. These goods are essential in order for help to continue, and for the benefit of the people.”

While Jimmy recognizes the immense value in his work, he ultimately hopes for an end to the conflict and a return to a time where these efforts are no longer necessary.

“I wish with all my heart that things would go back to normal. I don’t want to relive the situation we’ve been in,” he says. “For now, people are depending on us.”

Header image: The Humanity & Inclusion logistics team delivers a truckload of supplies in the Central African Republic in November 2020. Copyright: Adrienne Surprenant/HI; Inline image: Portrait of Jimmy Müller Baguimala Kobé. Copyright: HI

 

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