In 2006, Supply chain analysts explored a new branch in the field of logistics which gave a glimpse of hope to mankind: Humanitarian logistics.

It is a branch of logistics which specializes in organizing the delivery and warehousing of supplies during natural disasters or complex emergencies to the affected area and people.

The UNICEF is one of the leading international organisations which aims to provide humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and their mothers. The type of kit may vary depending on the type of emergency.

For instance, in the Haiti – Hurricane Mathew, the kit contained water purification tablets, medicines, and education supplies until the government provides shelter to the people, unlike the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe, the kit included winter clothing, footwear, blankets, diapers and baby food.

In 2014 the UNICEF innovated a radical change in their supply chain system by building a centralized warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, where their pre-pack survival kits or, as they prefer to call them, “Survival Gifts”, are designed, assembled, stocked. Moreover, they built three hubs located in Dubai, Panama and Shanghai to supply the centralized warehouse.

The geographic distribution allowed the UNICEF to:

1. Reach any crisis worldwide just within 72 hours

2. Depending on the type of crisis, the UNICEF acts as an “Information Broker” to deal with the LSP (Logistics Service Provider) to deliver the relevant type of Kits.

3. In case of critical emergency, they have backup suppliers worldwide ready to fulfil the demand in less than 72 hours.

Also as a part of the continuous improvement initiative, they launched the “The Supply Chain Visibility and Monitoring Dashboards” which enables them to monitor the supply of products during regular programs and their response performance during emergency. Moreover, it displays the “Instantaneous” amount of inventory the main and backup suppliers have.

Watch the video about “Survival Gifts®” on the YouTube channel of UNICEF Canada