|Handbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) / Alto Comisionado de Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR), 1999, 414 p.)|
|18. Supplies and transport|
1. The vital role of the supply chain must not be overlooked in the initial planning, and the input of a logistics specialist is required on any assessment mission. The more remote the location of the refugees, the more difficult will be the logistical problems, yet these are the situations where logistic support or the lack of it becomes the key to success or failure.
The ability to deliver the right supplies to the right place at the right time and in the right quantities is a prerequisite for an effective emergency operation.
2. The supply chain must provide for international purchase, transport, swift unloading and duty-free clearance on arrival, local purchase, transit storage, onward transportation, and final distribution, with proper stock control at every stage. Figure 1 shows the likely major components of the system in diagrammatic form.
3. Logistical support can be disrupted by unpredictable events and many factors outside UNHCR's control including customs delays, breakdowns, looting, and the vagaries of nature. Furthermore, the numbers requiring assistance often increase during the emergency phase of an operation.
The supply chain must provide for spare capacity because available capacity may become quickly overwhelmed.