The INITIATE project brings together 20 partner organizations to design and develop innovative solutions for tackling health emergencies, including outbreaks of infectious disease.

INITIATE is a joint WFP and World Health Organization project implemented and supported by UNHRD. Aimed at shaping the future of pandemic emergency response, it was launched in 2021 following a ministerial event on the role of logistics in humanitarian preparedness and response organized by the Italian G20 presidency and the WFP, and hosted at the UNHRD hub in Brindisi.

The 20-plus partners include emergency actors, research and academic institutions and international and national partners. Leveraging the facilities and services available at Brindisi, we can support them in working together to develop more effective solutions for meeting the immediate health needs of a population in an emergency. UNHRD Brindisi is also hosting and facilitating training for logistics teams and health providers on how to install, use and manage solutions, including medical installations, laboratories and facilities for dealing with specific diseases.

The first solution developed by the partners is an infectious disease treatment module designed to enable delivery of high quality medical care at speed, for example at the beginning of an outbreak when timely treatment can be critical in controlling the spread of disease. This self-contained structure is quick to deploy and easy to transport, and can stand alone or be integrated into existing health facilities.

Following successful installation and testing at UNHRD Brindisi in June 2023, the team is now focusing on fine-tuning the prototype and running further tests ahead of a full scale simulation. In future, the structure will be stored ready for deployment at Brindisi. Plans are also under way for a second innovative solution.