|Emergency Relief Items - Compendium of Basic Specifications - Volume 2 (UNDP, 1999, 323 p.)|
1. The need for improved standardization of emergency relief items has been expressed at various meetings of the Inter-Agency Procurement Working Group (IAPWG *), as well as at the workshop attended by organizations operating stockpiles of disaster relief items, organized by UN/OCHA in Geneva from 4-5 March, 1993. A Sub-Working Group Meeting, to discuss updating of this catalogue was held in Geneva 7 October 1998. IAPSO, in close cooperation with various UN organizations as well as major international NGOs has coordinated the joint efforts towards this objective.
2. Various product groups were identified for which development of common specifications for individual emergency relief items would be particularly desirable. After consultations, the participating organizations agreed on lists of specific items required in each product group, notably for the first phase of an emergency, and finalized basic specifications for each item.
The first phase of emergencies is accepted as being the first 72 hours after the onset but in the context of this catalogue is the period between the onset of the disaster and clear definition of needs after technical assessment.
3. This catalogue, which results from intensive collaborative inter-agency efforts led technically by WHO, is presented as Volume 2 covering a series of items for emergency relief and is intended to encourage the standardization of medical supplies and equipment.
4. To ensure incorporation of products most suitable for disaster relief, the product selection and technical specifications are based on experience gathered over the years by WHO, ICRC, IFRC, MSF, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR and IAPSO. The inputs provided by other humanitarian aid organizations have also been incorporated.
5. The catalogue lists by product groups the complete basic specifications for all selected items, together with information on shipping weight/volume. The relevant UNCCS identification number (United Nations Common Coding System) has also been allotted to assist in the interchange of information and statistical reporting. The unique coding system used in this catalogue will eventually be adopted by all agencies. In addition it also includes the list of essential drugs required during the first phase of an emergency, along with guidelines for donations.
6. The catalogue is intended to facilitate the acquisition of suitable relief items from as many qualified suppliers as feasible, in a cost efficient manner. The catalogue aims at developing a common working platform through the creation of a neutral language between suppliers and buyers in UN and non-UN humanitarian aid organizations. In an emergency it is important to identify immediately the needs and to ensure quick delivery. The catalogue should serve as a guide and the specifications included represent minimum requirements and does not represent detailed specifications for the individual items, including all standards required for purchase of the products in questions.
7. The catalogue will provide guidance and assistance to:
- Donor governments, as well as national governments and institutions in recipient countries concerned with the planning, budgeting and execution of emergency operations.
- Procurement officials of the UN system and within NGOs and Donor Development Agencies involved in the acquisition of emergency relief items.
*These meetings are organized by IAPSO to facilitate exchange of experience among various organizations of the UN system concerned with procurement
8. The revised version of Guidelines for Drug Donations is included.
9. The New Emergency Health Kit 98, which has been endorsed by all organizations involved in the preparation of this compendium, is included in its entirety.
10. In addition, the NEHK 98 also lists a number of kits which have been developed under the responsibility of individual agencies. These kits cover immunization, reproductive health and nutrition and may be provided after assessment of needs.
11. Reproductive Health Kits for Emergencies (included in the NEHK) is also included as a new chapter (Chapter 16).
12. Guidelines for the Safe Disposal of Unwanted Pharmaceuticals in and after Emergencies has been included as a new Chapter (17).
13. A bracketed (a) has been included beside the UNCCS numbers to indicate which items have been updated. For new items "new" is stated beside the UNCCS number.
14. The Database of Emergency Relief Items (DIRE) which contains information on reliable suppliers of relief items identified by the participating organizations as a result of competitive bidding, was released in 1997, and should be available on the internet mid 1999. The selection of suppliers is based on conformity with specifications, lowest acceptable prices, past experience, stock levels and services provided.