5 Challenges in Dealing With a War-Torn Country

When the destruction is on a large scale and there is nothing left these are the challenges a nation faces

By Dr. Piyush Gupta • Dec 12, 2018 Originally published Dec 12, 2018

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1. Communication:

One of the major hurdles is that communication is clogged. There are only some ways to connect to these countries and those too are intermittent which is not quite favourable for the trade activities. There are various hurdles such as fake/ sub-standard SIM cards and unsatisfactory internet services. Communication through texting services is also difficult as the messages lack clarity, tone and also the maximum risk of miscommunication. The absence of communication makes the trade activities arduous as there is no clear picture on the demand, the location, and the timeline. The pharma companies then have to make sure that the means of communication used by them assures stable transfer of information with these countries to carry out the further process in a better manner.

2. Fiscal issues:

The key element in dealing with the countries that are affected by war is the financial facet. It is the major and a complex strand that is to be dealt with. Since the country is already suffering from the internal woes, the system lacks organization and monetary backing. The financial transactions are hampered by the internal banking systems. Since medicines are exempt of the various government interventions, it involves a lot of paperwork and hassles pertaining to the banking transactions. The bankers, due to these hurdles, tend to block such transactions. This adds to the difficulties faced by the distributors in providing to these war-torn countries.

3. Logistics:

The facilities, both domestic and international, are usually disrupted due to the war-like conditions. It is difficult to carry out the trade activities without a smooth logistical system. The ports are normally inaccessible and the transport is quite deranged. In this state, exporting medicines and life-saving drugs pose as a big challenge, as it is an urgent need and also, a difficult product to transport. Apart from transporting, the storage of medicines comes with a lot of tedious procedures. From controlling the temperatures to maintaining the efficacy of the drugs, warehousing is another major yet strenuous aspect in the distribution of medicines to these countries.

4. Regulation:

The extensive involvement of government and regulatory authorities in terms of providing clearance and assistance to the distributors, pose as more of a hindrance. Since these countries are so sensitive in nature, the authorities have to make sure that the regulations are well maintained and that too with a stronghold. While the authorities in these countries toughen the trade practices, the rivalry between the superpowers and the war-torn countries emerge as an impediment for the distributors to engage in supplying to these countries. In quite a few cases the countries that engage in trade with the countries that are on a watch list like Iran and Iraq, are blacklisted by the various Western countries that are trading with the United States and the United Kingdom. For e.g. the relationship between the United States and North Korea influences their trade partners. It has been observed that countries like the US also go to an extent of blocking the payment of the countries which deal with the war-torn countries and also blacklist them

5. Uncertainty and Quick Turnaround of Demand:

The demand in these countries occurs on an urgent basis. There arises a need for a particular drug depending on the calamity or the situation faced at that time. The country as it is has meagre resources and is majorly dependent on the supplying countries for the vital requirements. Adding to these difficulties, there is usually an uncertainty in the demand due to the dynamic zone which leads to lack of clarity. A sudden rise in the demand is been observed which gradually leads to a tedious supplying procedure. The distributors have to keep up with such variables and make sure that they have all the resources and systems in place to ensure smooth, efficient and quick supply to these countries.

Dr. Piyush Gupta

Director, GNH India

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