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Strategic Initiatives

UNHRD sees a clear opportunity to further develop its role and become a pro-active partner for the humanitarian community; offering a platform that is efficient, innovative and unique in facilitating the procurement, prepositioning and delivery of life-saving assistance to those in need. In doing so, UNHRD will enable Partners to focus on their core business and will bring organizations together, leading to better coordination, more economies of scale, value for money, and minimal duplication.

Rapid Response Deployment

Through this initiative, UNHRD is formalizing the Rapid Response Team deployment mechanism whereby trained staff are ready for deployment at the onset of an emergency within 24 to 48 hours, equipped with critical supplies to set up operations, as well as equipment for handling and securing relief cargo. 

Progress update

  • With support from UPS, UNHRD developed an RRT training package and conducted a pilot at the Brindisi hub in November 2015. Members from UNHRD, WFP and standby partners completed a week of intensive training.  Those that completed the training are now on the RRT roster.
  • One stand-by partner was deployed to Dubai and one to Accra, and one technical staff member was deployed in Tororo, Uganda where UNHRD holds a number of stocks ready for deployment to nearby countries.
  • Members of the RRT team have been facilitating training for local UN and NGO staff in countries such as Nepal and Colombia.

Next steps

  • Redesign the training package to include pandemic preparedness activities
  • Continue on-the-job training deployment and hiring of technical staff to be based in Kuala Lumpur and Accra
  • Continue expansion of RRT roster through a second training in 2016
  • Procure and preposition equipment in support of RRT staff, as well as for handling and securing relief cargo
  • Establish of a cash reserve for immediate deployment of RRT on a no regret basis

NFI Supply and Stockpiling

UNHRD is expanding its role as an innovative, effective and cost-efficient procurement platform by serving as a bridge between humanitarian organizations and the industry that supports their work. With increasing supply demands from a growing number of Partners, UNHRD sees the need to revamp its supply approach (what, where and how to buy).  UNHRD is augmenting its procurement team, and optimizing aid stockpiling and rotation strategies in its facilities.

Progress update

  • The UNHRD Brindisi LAB team doubled in late 2015, and an established Expert Panel will meet each quarter to discuss and guide the LAB’s projects.
  • UNHRD was certified as an ECHO Humanitarian Procurement Centre (HPC) in 2015.
  • UNHRD has augmented its procurement team within the Network, in such a way as to better support and meet all Partners’ needs, optimize relief aid stockpiling and rotation strategies in the UNHRD facilities.

Next steps

  • Establish an NFI supply team that will be responsible for the NFI Supply Optimization
  • Further LAB activities that include: establishment of facilities for testing item functionality; development of a web-based portal for relief items; and furthering standardization practices
  • Establish a UNHRD stockpile of relief items readily available for all Partners
  • Develop ready–to–deploy logistics hubs and staff camps


This initiative builds a strategic approach made up of two projects that seek to identify gaps and optimize geographical coverage and supply chain routes. The Advanced Positioning Centre (APC) project operates internally within WFP, whereas the Global Partnership for Emergency Preparedness (GPEP) is targeted at support to Partners, primarily governments and regional associations to assist in the capacity strengthening of current setups and infrastructure.

Progress update

  • From a GPEP perspective, there have been many inquiries from national governments, regional associations and WFP Country & Regional Offices  (supporting governments in country) to explore potential engagement. To date, the regions where there has been the most activity have been Central America under UNHRD Panama (assessments and ongoing dialogue with the Dominican Republic), and South East Asia under UNHRD Kuala Lumpur (supporting the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) under the ASEAN Humanitarian Coordinating Centre (AHA Centre)).
  • For the APC project, a facility in Djibouti began functioning in January 2016. Mobile storage units and prefabricated units have been prepositioned to reduce delivery times in the region, and support is being provided to WHO, UNHCR and the Logistics Cluster. A similar process is underway in Tororo, Uganda.

Next steps

The initial project will be built on, compounding the material development work and expanding the partnership base to include academia (further research and strategic mapping), the private sector (best practices, secondments and exploration of alternative infrastructure use), and other key WFP units.

A continuation of engagement with donors to seek both partnership and investment in the initiatives and to move past consultation and assessment work towards an initial infrastructure pilot development for GPEP, and completion of APC facilities linked to regional UNHRDs.

The Network Reach is not a short term strategic initiative and should be seen as a long-term UNHRD ambition that supports the WFP Supply Chain’s objective 4 – Strengthen National Capacities and Markets.