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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
close this folder20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEmergency Staffing
View the documentBudget and Finance
View the documentNon-Expendable Property and Office Supplies
View the documentOffice Premises
View the documentOfficial Transport
View the documentOffice Organization
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes

Official Transport

(See Checklist section on Communications & Transport. In addition, chapter 18 on supplies and transport deals with all transport issues, focusing on transport for operational needs).


68. It is essential for UNHCR staff to be mobile. Action to ensure enough of the right type of official vehicles will be a high priority. Consult the Supply and Transport Section at Headquarters regarding the purchase of vehicles (see chapter 18 on supplies and transport for more information about the purchase or acquisition of vehicles). Once the vehicle is sold or passes from UNHCR's control (e.g. at the end of a lease agreement), ensure that any official UN or UNHCR logos and stickers are removed. Magnetic stickers (available from Headquarters) can be quickly attached and removed from vehicles and re-used.

69. Requests to Headquarters for vehicle purchase should give full details (make, type of body, number of doors, long or short wheel-base, left or right hand drive, petrol/diesel, special options: sand tires, extra fuel tanks, air-conditioning, heater, mine protection, anti-theft device, etc.). The duty-free on-the-road price and delivery time must be given if local purchase is requested.

70. In many countries duty-free fuel may be available for official UN vehicles. Details of procedures should be obtained from the government and other UN organizations. Follow them from the start; retroactive reimbursement is often impossible.

71. Vehicle daily log sheets should be introduced from the day the official vehicle becomes operational and these should be designed in such a way as to show the daily mileage of each vehicle and the purpose of each trip. The daily log should also include the names of the driver and of the passengers). Mileage should be regularly checked against the purchase of fuel for that vehicle.

72. It is important that vehicles are insured and registered upon arrival. In respect of each official vehicle assigned to a Field Office, adequate insurance covering third party risks should be arranged locally with a reputable insurance company.

Light Aircraft

73. There may be situations when a light aircraft is the only way to ensure satisfactory communications between the various UNHCR locations. The need may be temporary, for example to expedite needs assessment and the initial response, or longer-term when the existing communications infrastructure does not adequately cover the location of the refugees and the journey by road is long and uncertain. In some circumstances, security is also a consideration.

74. Immediate action to provide the necessary flights is essential. Initially, or where the need is short-term, this is likely to be by commercial charter unless the UN system already has a light aircraft and spare capacity. If locally based charter companies exist, seek impartial local advice on their reliability, obtain as many offers as possible and send these to Headquarters with a recommendation. Include details of passenger insurance coverage. This information should be complemented by an indication of the required weekly flight plan (e.g. per week: 3 return flights capital/location X; 1 return flight capital/location Y; 1 round trip flight capital/X/Y/capital), and the estimated cost for the necessary flights (total or per month).

75. Where local charter is not possible or a long-term need is foreseen, inform Headquarters with as much detail of the requirement as possible and ways it might be met (for example, of charter companies from neighbouring countries known to operate in the country of operation). Some government disaster corps and a number of NGOs operate light aircraft. Some are specialized in this field like Aviation Sans Frontieres (ASF), and the Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF). If there is already such an operation in the country their advice should be sought.