Responding in Sulawesi

Insights from WFP Logistics Officer, Ikhsanuddin
27 November 2018
Man standing in MSU

Ikhsanuddin, a World Food Programme (WFP) logistics coordinator, was one of the first people on the ground in Palu, Indonesia, to help with the government-led response after the earthquake and tsunami on 28 September 2018. 

It took him 30 hours to reach Palu by road, and what he found when he arrived was utter devastation. A damaged airport, debris and landslides covering main roads, and a seaport with a destroyed crane meant that aid deliveries to affected areas proved incredibly challenging in the early days of the response, and still continue to pose challenges.


The Response

WFP is supporting the Government of Indonesia and humanitarian community with the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami response by providing transport and warehouse facilities, as well as coordination and information management in Central Sulawesi.


With 32 trucks, WFP has transported over 6,027 m³ of relief items, including family and school tents, education and hygiene kits, water bladders, generators, food, clothing, and shelter items to people in need in some of the most affected areas of the island. 


WFP has also organised over 800 truck movements on behalf of over 50 organisations and governmental bodies including the Indonesian Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHCR, Oxfam, the Government of Saudi Arabia, USAID and AUSAID, accelerating the response, easing congestion at the airport, and ultimately increasing access to the affected population.

An operational page was launched as an information sharing platform to provide critical logistics updates to responding agencies:



As a survivor of the tsunami that hit Aceh in 2004, Ikhsanuddin knows the importance of emergency preparedness in a disaster-  prone country like Indonesia which experiences earthquakes, volcanos and weather-related disasters. As WFP Preparedness staff, he works with the Global Logistics Cluster on preparedness initiatives


“This natural disaster has had a deeply disruptive effect on livelihoods,” said Ikhsanuddin. “Disaster preparedness initiatives reduce time and cost of humanitarian response and lessen the need for international mobilisation.” This is why WFP Indonesia and the Logistics Cluster is focused on strengthening national systems and supporting long-term, locally-driven preparedness projects to respond to these complex natural disasters.