- The UNHRD
- Ireland’s support to the UNHRD
Ireland & the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD)
The UNHRD is a network of strategically located depots or hubs that procures, stores, and transports emergency relief supplies on behalf of the humanitarian community, including Irish Aid.
The UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), managed by and situated in the World Food Programme (WFP), is a network of strategically located depots or hubs that procures, stores, and transports emergency relief supplies on behalf of the humanitarian community. It focuses on emergency preparedness and response, and enables the strategic stockpiling of relief items and equipment for its partners/users.
The UNHRD network has 86 registered users comprising of UN organisations and agencies, the Red Cross, donor governments and Non-Governmental Organisations. WFP is itself also a user of the network.
The UNHRD network now consists of six strategically placed hubs, located in Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Panama City (Panama) and Las Palmas - Gran Canaria (Spain).
These hubs are strategically located near disaster-prone areas within airport complexes, or close to ports and main roads, ensuring transport costs are kept to a minimum and permitting the rapid dispatch of supplies in case of a crisis.
UNHRD offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for storage, procurement, transport, handling, and stock borrowing.
The benefits to Ireland of being a UNHRD partner/user include:
- Lower prices through economies of scale;
- Prices agreed and purchases finalised before a crisis strikes;
- Faster delivery of stocks into crises in the geographic vicinity of the hubs;
- Shared and lower transport costs from suppliers to hubs and from hubs into crises;
- Immediate access to contingency stocks and to other UNHRD users’ stocks through a loans & borrowing facility.
UNHRD hub, Accra, Ghana. Photo:UNHRD
Under Ireland’s partnership with UNHRD, which began in 2006, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency relief supplies (or humanitarian stocks) in 4 of the 6 UNHRD hubs, in Accra, Brindisi, Dubai and Panama City. UNHRD not only procures and stores Ireland’s stocks but also arranges for their packaging and transport to the crisis affected country.
The emergency relief supplies stockpiled and dispatched by Ireland at the initial phase of an emergency are aimed at meeting the needs of affected persons from week 1 to week 4 of the emergency. Almost all of Ireland’s emergency relief supplies are transported by air.
Relief items stored by Ireland have been selected in close consultation with UN agencies and NGO partners. They have been selected (a) for their use in all emergencies, (b) because they have no shelf life and (c) for ease of packing and transport. Ireland currently stockpiles non-food items which are most in demand by people in humanitarian crises including: tents, blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, jerry cans, water tanks, soap, mosquito nets, pickaxes, spades, and squatting plates.
The quantity of stocks held by Ireland throughout the UNHRD network gives us the capacity to meet the needs of 55,000 beneficiaries (or, taking the average family size as 5 persons, 11,000 families). The value of Ireland’s current stockpiles at maximum capacity is approximately €2 million.
Since 2012, Ireland has dispatched over 2,500 metric tonnes of its prepositioned emergency stocks into crises in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Niger, Jordan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Somalia, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Iraq, the Philippines, Nepal, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Haiti and Nigeria.
Ireland's Rapid Response Strategy
Our Rapid Response Strategy outlines how we implement the Rapid Response Initiative.