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Supplies and Logistics


UNICEF Image: UNICEF staff pack another emergency order for Myanmar.
© UNICEF Pakistan/2010/Sami
12 August 2010: At Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, UNICEF supply staff check the 100 metric tonnes of emergency supplies sent from UNICEF's main warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, bound for Pakistan flood victims

Supply Division plays a crucial role during emergencies by mobilising and shipping essential life-saving supplies and providing technical support in the area of in-country logistics. In 2015, Supply Division supported 53 countries in emergency, to a value of $147.8 million. 

UNICEF’s emergency responses and protection of affected children always include a strong supply component. The role of Supply Division is twofold: to procure essential supplies for health and nutrition, education and recreation, drinking water and sanitation, and to provide technical support in the identification and procurement of emergency supplies as well as in-country logistics. Emergency supplies are increasingly planned as part of long-term programmes, which also include rehabilitation and reconstruction. UNICEF is placing increased emphasis on emergency preparedness and response, including strengthening the capacity of governments and partners to prepare effectively, and develop joint emergency planning mechanisms.

As well as its warehouse in Copenhagen, UNICEF operates three emergency hubs in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Colon (Panama), and Shanghai (China) where goods can be dispatched within a period of 48 hours following a disaster.

In 2015, over 10,635 sea and air shipments were managed by Supply Division, including charter flights. Warehouse throughput (including hubs) was over $120.3 million.

Supply Division’s Copenhagen warehouse is key to UNICEF’s emergency response capacity. Emergency supplies can be packed and shipped within 48 hours of receiving an order, delivering the items needed for children’s immediate survival and recovery from trauma.

The Division specialises in developing and shipping pre-packed kits that can be assembled, shipped and distributed rapidly, making them ideal for emergency situations when speed can save lives. Each kit contains a complete set of supplies and instructions for use, so that they can be distributed to outlying schools, health posts or camps and be ready for immediate use. The Copenhagen warehouse stocks components for 40 different kits. The most commonly-used kits in emergencies are the School-in-a-Box, the Recreation Kit and the Emergency Health Kit.

Interagency Emergency Health Kit Information Note




Health Supply Chains in an Ebola context: Assessment and Risk Mitigation

UNICEF’s guidance and practical advice helps to assess and mitigate the additional strain that the Ebola outbreak may have on health supply chains.

French and Spanish version of this page


Previous Emergencies

UNICEF Supply Catalogue

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