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Supplies and Logistics


© Stephane Arnaud, UNICEF Senior Emergency Supply Manager
Boats (dhows) being loaded with UNICEF supplies enroute from Djibouti to Yemen

Yemen: despite dangers, emergency supplies still delivered

Following the escalation of the conflict in Yemen in April 2015, and the activation of the “level 3” emergency, calling for organization-wide mobilization,  in July, UNICEF Yemen Country Office (YCO) set up an humanitarian response plan, scaling up its programme activities and remodeling its supply chain strategy. This has resulted in an almost 42 per cent increase in the value of supplies procured for the country in 2015 compared to 2014.

The intensity of the conflict, and the limited access to ports and airports for commercial sea and air shipments, saw the YCO, with the support from UNICEF Supply Division and MENA Regional Office, set up a logistics hub in Djibouti to facilitate the re-forwarding to the shipments into Yemen using local boats (dhows).

With access to international staff remaining limited, ongoing airstrikes on Sana’a and elsewhere and the multitudes of negotiations needed to secure supply access, local Supply staff are carrying the burden of ensuring supplies reach children and families, despite these daily challenges and dangers. The Yemen Supply team, supported by colleagues in Djibouti and Amman, has with implementing partners delivered supplies worth millions of dollars since March 2015, including to remote and active conflict zones. 

In addition, a transit cold chain was set up in Djibouti providing temporary storage of vaccines until airlifting to Sana’a. Since April, 32 dhows carrying 2,460 tonnes (6,798 cbm) of emergency supplies have been sent from Djibouti to the ports Hodeida, Mokha, Aden and Mukhala, with support from UNICEF Djibouti staff. A further nine charter flights were organized from Djibouti to carry the most of the vaccine requirement for Yemen in 2015.

The war has also affected the local market causing fluctuating and increased prices. Although the majority of the procurement is now processed offshore, UNICEF is still handling and looking for local procurement opportunities, especially for constructions activities.

This supply scale up has required immense effort from the supply team who remain more than ever committed and motivated to ensure supplies are delivered across Yemen.

Infographic - Yemen International humanitarian supplies and distribution hubs - September 2015



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