This article highlights the risks of working for national rather than international organisations in humanitarian contexts. After the authors’ NGO base was attacked in April 2022, he had to navigate the complex balance between staying safe and saving strangers – the reason the organisation Nile Hope was established. This balance is different for those working for international or national organisations. The latter are often more reliant on communities and local relations to stay safe, rather than outside help.

Taking malnutrition supplies as they fled may have helped the author and his colleagues survive as they fled and spend several days hiding, but may also have led to accusations of stealing food meant for the local community.