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The regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Food Programme (WFP), through the Logistics Cluster, brought together more than 50 experts from key entities in the second Regional Logistics Response Team (LRT) Training on the continent from November 18 to 25, 2023.

The goal of the LRT is to enhance, cultivate, and reinforce the response capabilities of local actors. This is achieved through the training of emergency response personnel from various sectors and countries through a simulation. Providing them with a space for preparation to make quicker and more informed decisions in critical moments.

"This collaborative exercise involving the public sector and humanitarian actors improves our readiness to respond promptly and efficiently at the national level. The synergy between the government and the humanitarian sector is essential to address emergencies," said Karen Ávila, Director of the Crisis Room of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management of Colombia (UNGRD).

Logistics Response Team (LRT) Training goals

The main goal of this training is to promote cooperation between National Disaster Management Directorates and humanitarian logistics actors to improve efficiency and collaboration in emergency logistics responses.

Additionally, these types of training aim to:

  • Improve the preparedness and response capacity to emergencies of senior logistics operations personnel in the region.
  • Integrate response teams from different entities and sectors through the presentation of hypothetical situations similar to those of an emergency.
  • Train local teams to be deployed immediately in large regional emergencies.
  • Learning through experience.

Learning through experiences: How and where was it carried out?

This second regional simulation took place in Colombia. The first LRT in Latin America was held in Ecuador in 2022.

Participants were deployed to address a fictitious emergency. As in reality, they had to collaborate to establish a logistical response plan to the presented emergency in the training. Participants tested their capacities and knowledge of emergency response in one of the key pillars of any humanitarian operation: logistics.

Stress, pressure, focus, and happiness were part of the emotions experienced during this training.

"This second exercise is part of a preparedness strategy adapted to the context of the region that we have been working on for three years. The participation of various humanitarian and governmental response entities confirms the growing interest in the region in finding ways to work together to achieve more efficient emergency responses," said Eric Itin, Regional Officer of the Logistics Cluster for LAC.

LRT Participants

Representatives from twelve countries in the region and more than twenty government and humanitarian agencies attended this training.  

Humanitarian sector organizations that participated included: Acción contra el Hambre, ADRA, Cruz Roja, DRC, ECHO, Humanity and Inclusion, OIM, IRC, Johanniter International, Médicos Sin Fronteras, NRC, OCHA, OPS/OMS, Plan International, Save the Children, UNDSS, ACNUR, UNICEF, USAID-BHA y el Programa Mundial de AlimentosTechnicians and government authorities from the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management of Colombia (UNGRD) and government officials from Brazil also attended.

95% of the participants are willing to participate in another LRT in the future. And 100% said they would recommend this exercise to other colleagues as a preparation measure for acting in emergencies.

Recap video of the LRT


Written by: Carlos Sousa-Lennox, Regional Information Management Officer for LAC.