Source Logistics Cluster
Document type Other
Publication date 11/10/2005

United Nations Joint Logistics Centre for Nepal

Based on independent expert assessments, the UN in Nepal has recognized the threat imposed by a potential major earthquake which may have a devastating impact in the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. A deteriorating security situation in the country, caused by civil strife, is hampering development efforts of the UN in the country and may cause in time a humanitarian disaster. A natural catastrophe as mentioned above might act as a negative catalyst to the political and security environment in the country.

The likelihood of a major eartquake scenario happening led the UN to commence a collaborative preparedness process with the inclusion of His Majesty’s Government and international organizations. To work towards a coherent and coordinated response mechanism, the UN Disaster Management Team (DMT) as well as some of the operational UN agencies have prepared and are regularily updating preparedeness plans for a major natural disaster. It has however been realized by the DMT under the Resident Coordinator, that the coordination of the planning efforts both within the UN system and with its national counterparts and in a regional context could be improved. In addition, the response and preparation planning should be more operations oriented and support to and coordination with the Government needs further elaboration.

Logistics preparedness and planning efforts for a natural disaster scenario as well as coordination between all partners are increasingly complicated by the deteriorating security situation in the country and as such have to be taken into account in any response plans for a humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

In this context, the United Nations Joint Logistic Centre (UNJLC) project will aim to improve logistics preparedness and subsequent coordination of the planning efforts both within the UN System and with national counterparts.

The UNJLC is a logistics inter-agency facility based in the WFP Head-Quarters in Rome that provides services to UN humanitarian agencies and partners upon request from agencies and approved by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working-Group (IASC-WG). Its mandate is to coordinate and complement the logistics capabilities of humanitarian organizations in large-scale emergencies. UNJLC operates under the custodianship of WFP which is responsible for the administrative and financial management of the Centre. UNJLC is funded from voluntary contributions channelled through WFP.

UNJLC will dispatch a logistics planning officer to support the inter-agency effort for planning and preparedness that are taking place under the direction of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nepal. The incumbent will report to and work under the general direction and supervision of the Resident Coordinator and closely coordinate efforts with inter-agency initiatives such as the Humanitarian Assistance and Information System (HAIS), OCHA and with agencies specialists in logistics and preparedness planning. Daily administrative management will be the responsibility of the WFP Country Director who will be assisted in this respect by the Chief UNJLC in Rome. 

Further, this project shall also develop links with the UN Country Teams in Bhutan and India, in respect of preparation efforts for a major earthquake affecting Bhutan and/or northern India. The contacts in India will have an additional effect to allow for the planning regarding the availability of sufficient emergency relief supplies and means to transport this to Nepal, if needed. 

The UNJLC Core Unit might dispatch, as and when required, experts in fuel planning and other logistics disciplines for short missions to complement the inter-agency logistics planning and preparedness work carried out under supervision of the Resident Coordinator and UN-Country Team and assist the UNJLC logistics planning officer in his or her tasks.

Incumbent will be based in Kathmandu and conduct travel to field locations in Nepal and visit neighbouring countries when and as required. He/she will be initially located in the WFP office in Kathmandu but relocate in a later stage to a newly established inter-agency office tasked with planning and preparedness and staffed by OCHA, UNDP and UNJLC personnel.

Duration of the assigment will be five months and start as soon as possible. Halfway through the assignment, UNJLC will present to the Resident Coordinator and UN-Country Team a comprehensive progress report based on the tasks as described in detail under. Provisions will be made for care and maintenance of this preparedness effort so as to ensure continuity . The project will be financed from contributions by Donors sollicited by WFP/UNJLC. Agencies will be requested to assist the logistics planning officer in providing relevant data, staff support for the collection and analyses of information and vehicles for field trips.

The UNJLC project will look into the following aspects;

  1. General  Logistics Co-ordination: Where required, establish and support appropriate  inter-agency  logistics co-ordination structures at all levels of  the  operation and maintain appropriate liaison with the relevant civil and military authorities.  Through this process, anticipate, identify and address any logistics bottlenecks in view of relevant scenario’s and that might affect the humanitarian and rescue efforts as a whole.
  2. Logistics Information Management:  Collect, collate, disseminate and analyse, in a  timely  manner,  appropriate logistics-related information in support of the inter-agency planning effort and in full cooperation with other UN common services.
  3. Logistics-Related  CMCoord  (Civil-Military  Coordination): Under  the guidance  of  the  Resident Co-coordinator (RC), provide constructive liaison and coordination with Military Entities.
  4. Logistics planning documents: draft the necessary reports that outline levels of logistics preparedness of authorities and agencies, make appropriate and relevant recommendations to increase the level of that logistics preparedness and advise the RC and UNJLC on follow-up actions.
  5. Sustainability of the logistics planning and preparedness effort: Devise mechanisms with relevant authorities and (UN) partners to frequently update logistics planning and preparedness procedures & reports and maintain an appropriate level of prepardness and training.