Logistics Response Team Training: Erbil edition

51 humanitarian actors gather in Iraq for the large-scale training event
29 November 2018

In Erbil, northern Iraq, it’s a Friday morning, 8:00. The sun only started rising just over an hour ago, but for a handful of emergency responders, it feels like they’ve been awake for days. Among dozens of maps, Mobile Storage Units, radios, situation reports, tents, and a reasonable amount of coffee, 25 participants and 26 facilitators from across the humanitarian logistics sector are preparing for the final day of Iraq’s first Logistics Response Team (LRT) Training.


“Two of the key words for any LRT are collaboration and teamwork." 


"This week’s training has captured the essence of an inter-agency response at the national and regional level. It has given participants a realistic operational experience that helps build coordination among partners, and encourages everyone to work towards a common goal,” says Cameron Kiss, Logistics Cluster Coordinator for Iraq. 

Participants from 17 organisations, including Disaster Management Authorities, NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent, government and UN agencies have come together from across the region for the event, which seeks to enhance logistics capacities during humanitarian crises and emergency response situations.

Throughout the training we caught up with a couple of the participants to see how they found the LRT.  



How has the training prepared you for a logistics operation?

“It gave me a new perspective on how to deal with emergencies as a first responder, as usually I join in the middle of an operation. It gave me the tools to respond and deliver in an emergency,” Ruba Al-Zeghari (UNHCR)


What are some of the key lessons you’ll take away from the training?

“I learnt how to adapt my planning, strategies and resources based on the situation, always being ready for the surprise element.


“The LRT provided me with the full view, structure and mechanisms of the Logistics Cluster within an emergency context. As a logistician, meeting with colleagues from other NGOs, UN and government agencies gave me the chance to learn how valuable teamwork and collaboration is among the humanitarian community, and how essential it is in responding to a crisis.’’ Ali Abduladeem (Solidarites International)


How did you find the LRT overall?

“It was tough, enjoyable, eye-opening and unique experience; an excellent starting point to learn more about emergency response by learning from failures and exchanging ideas.

“The interaction from facilitators kept things interesting during the simulation, and encouraged a new approach to thinking operationally for cluster logisticians during emergencies​'' Farah Al-Tarifi (ACTED)


As the operational context in Iraq shifts to early recovery efforts, preparedness, training and capacity building initiatives have been a core focus for the country’s Logistics Cluster team throughout 2018 to reinforce and enhance the skills of national actors. Read more about the Iraq operation and Logistics Cluster training opportunities.