Operations Update

November 2019



The Logistics Cluster enables the humanitarian community to save lives through timely and reliable logistics service support and information.

Prior to the onset of an emergency, our activities in high-risk countries facilitate coordination between stakeholders, including governments and local actors, to support and strengthen the local logistics response capacity. On a global level, the community of Logistics Cluster partners actively works to improve humanitarian logistics responses through developing and sharing best practices and identifying innovative solutions.

During a crisis response, where local capacities have been exceeded or require augmentation, Logistics Cluster operations provide support to the humanitarian logistics community through coordination, information management and, where necessary, the facilitation of access to common logistics services.

From 1 January to 31 October 2019, the Logistics Cluster has cooperated with and supported more than 540 partners and stakeholders across 15 countries and one region, including national and international NGOs, UN agencies, foundations, academia, private sector, civil society organisations and government agencies. There are currently operations coordinating preparedness and/or response activities in Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Lao PDR, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Pacific Region, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Among this wide community of partners, the Logistics Cluster promotes joint engagement and cooperation during humanitarian operations for the purposes of increasing efficiency. It does this through coordination, information exchange and, when necessary, the sharing of assets through common logistics services.

The Global Logistics Cluster Support Team, hosted in the Rome headquarters of its lead agency, the World Food Programme, assists field operations and provides logistics surge capacity and support to the humanitarian community, reinforcing operations on the ground. The support team organises twice-yearly Global Logistics Meetings, bringing together key logistics representatives from the humanitarian community and academia to discuss emerging trends and common issues, and to build relationships. The Global Logistics Cluster Support Team is also responsible for delivering trainings aimed at developing the ability of the humanitarian logistics community to work together during emergency response operations.

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Following an escalation in violence, August 2017 saw a rapid influx of approximately 500,000 Rohingya people from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Numbers have continued to increase since then, with over 909,000 stateless Rohingya refugees now residing in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas as of March 2019. The government-led humanitarian response is currently targeting 1.2 million people for lifesaving assistance, made up of refugees and local host communities.

The Logistics Sector continues to play a vital role by providing coordination, information management and facilitating access for the humanitarian community to common logistics services such as storage. A total of 52 humanitarian and governmental organisations have been supported by the Logistics Sector in 2019 so far.

With the availability of sufficient storage identified as a critical logistics gap for the response, the Logistics Sector facilitates access to free-to-user common storage at three logistics hubs – Madhu Chara and Balukhali, provided by WFP, and at Leda, Teknaf, provided by Humanity and Inclusion/Atlas Logistique. Six temperature-controlled 20-foot shipping containers have also been made available to the humanitarian community for the storage of temperature-sensitive items such as pharmaceuticals, and the Logistics Sector maintains a stock of prepositioned containers and Mobile Storage Units (MSUs) available for partners. Since the beginning of the operation, a total of 355,568 m3 of relief items have been stored on behalf of 34 national and international NGOs and UN agencies.

Cargo loading at Madhu Chara Hub, September 2019

Coordination between partners continues to be paramount to the success of the humanitarian operation, with the Logistics Sector conducting regular coordination meetings, and co-chairing Health Logistics coordination meetings with the Health Sector. These meetings provide a forum for partners to raise issues that impact their ability to respond, with the Logistics Sector then advocating on behalf of the community on issues raised such as traffic control, roads management and storage constraints. A total of 70 coordination meetings have been held since the beginning of the operation.

Information has been key to the response, and the Logistics Sector continues to work with partners to ensure their informational needs are met to improve operational decision-making. This year has seen the roll-out of the pilot of the Physical Roads Access Constraints (PRAC) application, allowing for the humanitarian community to share real-time updates on physical road access constraints in one centralised platform.

Capacity building continues to be a focus of the Logistics Sector in Bangladesh, with a total of 10 trainings held this year so far. Topics have ranged from the basics of humanitarian logistics, to MSU erection, to cyclone preparedness and a simulation-based workshop held as part of the Global Logistics Cluster’s Preparedness Project. A total of 233 humanitarians from 38 organisations have participated in these capacity strengthening events.

While the operation has now stabilised, flexibility continues to be key with the ever-present threat of cyclones and monsoons adding a layer of complexity to the humanitarian response and increasing the importance of strong emergency preparedness planning. The Logistics Sector will continue to work with partners to reassess logistics gaps and needs and to prepare for weather events that could hamper the ability of the humanitarian community to continue responding to the needs of the Rohingyas and the host community.

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2,170 mt mt

Central African Republic

CAR is the third-largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with 2.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 1.7 million who are in acute need. The Logistics Cluster has been active in the country since 2013, supporting responding humanitarian organisations who face logistics constraints, poor infrastructure and ongoing insecurity which impede their ability to deliver humanitarian assistance.

The Logistics Cluster works closely with partners in-country to provide coordination and information management, and to facilitate access to common services such as storage, road and air transport.

Demonstrating the spirit of the Logistics Cluster, common storage is made available to the humanitarian community in CAR in seven locations across the country via a group of partners. A concrete common storage warehouse is managed by Première Urgence International in Bangui, and other NGO partners are responsible for managing Mobile Storage Units in six other locations. This totals 3,186 m2 of common storage space that is available to humanitarian organisations in-country, with a total of 10,087 m3 of humanitarian cargo stored this year as at end October. Complementing this, Humanity and Inclusion provide a common road transport service for relief items from Bangui, Bambari and Bossangoa, with 2,170 mt of humanitarian cargo transported from January to October 2019.

Cargo loading at Bangui Airport, September 2019

A recent escalation of violence in Birao, a remote area in the far north of CAR, has seen the Logistics Cluster increasing support to partners operating in the area by facilitating access to airlifts for lifesaving cargo, thus reducing lead times dramatically. This is in addition to ongoing airlifts for priority cargo such as health, WASH and nutrition items to hard-to-reach areas in the east and south-east of the country, such as Zemio, Obo, Bangassou and Bria. As of 31 October 2019, the cluster has facilitated 45 air rotations to 7 locations, transporting 188 mt of emergency relief items on behalf of 19 organisations.

Infrastructure rehabilitation has been a major focus of humanitarian organisations working in-country this year. Over 40 rehabilitation projects targeting airstrips, roads, bridges and ferries have been undertaken by national and international NGOs, based on the Logistics Cluster’s gap analysis, to improve access for both humanitarian organisations carrying out their important work and local populations.

The coordination role undertaken by the Logistics Cluster is a key element in the humanitarian response, helping to reduce costs, create synergies, and avoid duplication of efforts. To this end, fortnightly Logistics Cluster coordination meetings are held in Bangui, and sub-office logistics working group meetings are organised to maintain an open discussion forum to improve the analysis of logistical needs. In addition, the cluster is an active member of the Inter-Cluster Coordination mechanism, the Civil-Military Coordination Forum and the Access Working Group, all chaired by OCHA, as well as the UNICEF-led Rapid Response Mechanism Steering Committee.

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Ongoing insecurity and a continuing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has seen the humanitarian situation in DRC remain extremely volatile in 2019. With 12.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, humanitarian organisations operate in an extremely challenging and complex environment, facing access challenges and limited logistics infrastructure. The Logistics Cluster continues to work in-country to support these organisations, providing coordination and information management.

A geographically vast country with access constraints, information remains critical for humanitarians working on the response in DRC, with the Logistics Cluster working to support the humanitarian community with timely and accurate logistics information to support operational decision-making. A total of 135 information management products have been published in 2019 as of 31 October, including 85 maps allowing organisations to better plan their operations.

Coordination Meeting in Kinshasa, October 2019

The Logistics Cluster continues to work with the humanitarian community throughout the country, holding coordination meetings in six locations across DRC, including Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu, Tshikapa, Kananga and Kalemie, to provide a forum for humanitarian organisations to gather and exchange information on logistics issues and challenges. As of 31 October, a total of 35 coordination meetings have been held in 2019.

The lack of a reliable road network across the country complicates the humanitarian response and leads to high operating costs. The Logistics Cluster continues to advocate on behalf of the humanitarian community for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges as a means to improving humanitarian access. A total of 51 rehabilitation projects have been carried out by Logistics Cluster partners this year so far, including project EMIR and the rehabilitation of the runaway of the Tshikapa airport.

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The Logistics Sector in Nigeria has provided support to the government-led response in the north-east of the country since August 2016, with 7.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the worst affected states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe in 2019 (OCHA, December 2018). Through the provision of coordination, information management, capacity building and the facilitation of common services, the sector supports humanitarian organisations responding to the crisis.

The Logistics Sector supports humanitarian organisations through the administration of a cargo movement notification system for insecure routes and serves in a liaison role between state security services and humanitarian organisations moving relief materials. Active support has also continued for the Civil-Military Coordination established by OCHA and the office of the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator.

Each month, the sector’s civil-military coordination team processes approximately 670 movement notifications through the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF), which translates into the movement of over 1,750 trucks carrying humanitarian cargo to deep field locations. These notifications are consolidated and sorted into a weekly dispatch plan that is then used to organise humanitarian convoys, and any necessary escorts, across the six key supply routes leading out from Maiduguri. 6,696 notifications, indicating 17,486 trucks, have been processed on behalf of 34 organisations as at end October 2019.

While en route to final distribution points, organisations have the option to temporarily store any cargo in sector-managed common storage facilities strategically located in Monguno, Banki, Ngala, Bama, Dikwa and Damasak. These facilities are operated by ACTED, INTERSOS, and Solidarités International. In 2019, 31,301 m3 of relief goods had been received for storage as at 31 October.

Mobile Storage Unit training in Maiduguri, July 2019

In 2019, the sector transitioned sector-managed storage services away from Maiduguri where the local market has recovered in favour of field locations. The sector instead facilitated the loan of 17 Mobile Storage Units (MSUs) to 11 organisations with another three planned before the end of the year. The sector has also supported partners to install both these and other MSUs where needed. The size of covered storage space on loan exceeds 5,000 m2.

Given the security risks along main supply routes and the poor road infrastructure, critical humanitarian aid, such as medicines and therapeutic food supplements, is also regularly airlifted from Maiduguri to remote locations throughout Borno state. Première Urgence Internationale (PUI), in partnership with UNHAS, operates a sector-managed air cargo consolidation service in Maiduguri, collecting cargo destined for air transport and delivering it to the airport for UNHAS airlift. From 1 January to 31 October 2019, 18 organisations arranged delivery of over 47 mt of cargo to UNHAS via this service.

The Logistics Sector provides coordination to support responding organisations in creating synergies and avoiding duplication of efforts. A total of 17 coordination meetings have been held in 2019 so far, providing a vital forum for humanitarian organisations to discuss common logistics issues. In conjunction with this, information management remains key to keeping organisations working in Nigeria informed and supporting them in their operational planning. 59 information management products, including maps, have been shared via information sharing tools such as the dedicated webpage and mailing list as at 31 October. In 2019, the Logistics Sector has increased its efforts to reinforce the capacity of its partners, particularly through skills trainings targeted at national staff. A total of 270 participants from 48 organisations were trained in nine trainings up to 31 October.

Ongoing assessments indicate that the Logistics Sector service platform will remain stable through 2020 but that logistics challenges facing humanitarian organisations in the north-east are increasingly linked to security constraints, expanded restrictions and administrative requirements impacting surface movements of humanitarian cargo, movement of cash, fuel and relief items.

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South Sudan

Ongoing insecurity, access challenges, and a wet season that renders much of the country inaccessible for half the year makes South Sudan particularly challenging for humanitarian organisations working in-country. The Logistics Cluster was first activated in South Sudan in 2011 and continues to play a key role in supporting humanitarian organisations with coordination, information management and facilitation of access to common logistics services.

The improved security situation combined with expanded physical and humanitarian access has led to a greater focus on road and river transport over the more costly option of air transport for the movement of relief items to hard-to-reach areas. The Logistics Cluster, with support from the WFP Access and Security Units, coordinates humanitarian convoys along seven major supply routes, with 37 convoys coordinated on behalf of the humanitarian community as of 31 October. In conjunction with IOM’s Common Transport Services project, the cluster also transports humanitarian cargo to areas surrounding the Bentiu, Malakal, and Wau hubs by road via the Beyond Responses, reducing the reliance on air operations. In 2019, the Beyond Bentiu Response reached locations in Central Unity State, previously only served by air, by road for the first time.

With an increase in frequency during the dry season, convoys are seen as key to pre-positioning stocks ahead of the next rainy season, and are complemented by common storage made available in multiple locations throughout the country by the Logistics Cluster. In addition, the Logistics Cluster has loaned nearly 20 Mobile Storage Units to 13 organisations in the past two years for partner-managed common storage in deep-field locations where the cluster does not have a presence.

Following on from the success of WFP Logistics in increasing river movements, the Logistics Cluster has increased the frequency of barge movements along the Nile River for the movement of larger payloads of relief items. With 11 barge movements as of 31 October, this is nearly double the number of movements conducted throughout the whole of 2018. Boat convoys have also been implemented for the transport of relief items along the Nile, el Zharaf and Sobat Rivers. As of 31 October, 1313 mt of humanitarian cargo has been transported by river.

Dispatching cargo by air in Bentiu, August 2019

While there has been an increased focus on road and river transport, air transport still remains necessary to move relief items to hard-to-reach locations. Through WFP Aviation, the Logistics Cluster facilitates access to three dedicated air assets based in the strategic hubs of Juba, Rumbek and Bor. A total of 3301 mt of humanitarian cargo has been delivered by air to the end of October 2019.

The importance of maintaining air transport services available to the humanitarian community is currently being illustrated with the Logistics Cluster’s response to the current flooding emergency across South Sudan. The South Sudan 2019 rainy season began late and has seen much heavier rainfalls than average which has led to flooding across the country, affecting more than 900,000 people. Consequently, the Logistics Cluster has been requested to support inter-cluster missions to flood-affected areas by transporting multi-sectoral flood survival kit cargo and other flood response cargo through mid-December. As most of the response locations are reachable only by air and airstrips are currently inundated with water or have been badly damaged by flooding, the Logistics Cluster, through WFP Aviation is acquiring an additional helicopter (Mi8), funded by DFID, to be based in Bor and fully dedicated to the flooding response. In addition to this, the cluster is using a fixed wing aircraft and an Mi26 helicopter when available and where able to land to ensure the flood response is fully supported.

Capacity building of local humanitarian logistics staff has also been a key focus of the Logistics Cluster this year. With the addition of a dedicated training officer to the team in-country, regular trainings are held throughout South Sudan, focusing on topics catering to a range of skill and knowledge levels. Trainings delivered in 2019 include basic and advanced humanitarian logistics, MSU erection, warehouse management and an introduction to the Logistics Cluster and wider cluster system. A total of 459 participants from 125 organisations have been trained over 25 trainings as of October this year, a significant growth on 2018’s figures.

Finally, on behalf of WFP in South Sudan, the Logistics Cluster continues to take an active role in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Preparedness activities in-country on behalf of WFP Logistics. As lead of the EVD Logistics Technical Working Group and representing WFP on the National Task Force, the Logistics Cluster has supported the humanitarian community in its preparedness activities through the establishment of common storage for EVD items in four high-risk locations. The cluster has also coordinated with UNHRD on the procurement of four ambulances donated to priority areas, with WFP Engineering on the construction of three isolation units, and facilitates access to bookings for a dedicated UNHAS aircraft for EVD support missions and sample collection.

In a continuously changing operation faced with multiple challenges, going into 2020 the Logistics Cluster in South Sudan will continue to focus on supporting the humanitarian community and driving cost efficiencies through increased pre-positioning via river and road, dependent upon continued humanitarian access.

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The Logistics Cluster was activated in Syria in January 2013. Almost seven years on, the Syrian context remains one of the most complex humanitarian crises worldwide, with an estimated 11.7 million people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2019 (OCHA). In September 2014, the Whole of Syria (WoS) approach was adopted as a result of the UN Security Council Resolution 2165, bringing together separate regional operations - Syria, Turkey, Iraq and up until June 2018, Jordan - into a single framework.

The Logistics Cluster plays a crucial role in supporting the responding humanitarian community in their efforts to address the country’s vast humanitarian needs through coordination, information management and facilitation of common logistics services, including cross-border transhipment services, inter-agency convoys, common transport, contingency fuel provision and warehousing.

The Logistics Cluster provides coordination support for cross-border operations and transhipment services from Turkey and Iraq. In Turkey, transhipment is managed by the Logistics Cluster at the crossing points of Bab al Hawa and Bab al Salam. Following the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in north-west Syria in April 2019, the transhipment operation has been vital in ensuring lifesaving aid reaches affected populations. In November 2019, the Logistics Cluster plans to facilitate the transhipment of 1,086 trucks at the two crossings – the largest number of trucks ever transhipped in a single month since the Turkey operation began in 2014.

Humanitarian Convoy towards Rukban, February 2019

In Iraq, The Logistics Cluster uses the Al-Yarubiyah border crossing to facilitate the transhipment of humanitarian cargo, supporting UN partners with the delivery of items into north-east Syria.

From January 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019, a total of 6,126 trucks have been coordinated for transhipment services.

Throughout 2019, the cluster has continued to provide coordination support for Inter-Agency convoys in close collaboration with OCHA and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC). Four humanitarian convoys have been coordinated this year inside Syria. The cluster has also supported with common transport. From January to October, the Logistics Cluster facilitated the road transport of 9,664 mt of relief items on behalf of eight organisations.

Making use of WFP warehouses in Aleppo, Homs, Qamishli and Rural Damascus, the Logistics Cluster facilitates access to common storage services. Following a scale-up in humanitarian response needs in north-east Syria in October 2019, the Logistics Cluster also increased available storage capacity in Qamishli, as well as providing ongoing support to SARC for the augmentation of additional warehousing space in Deir-ez-Zor. Since the beginning of the year, the Logistics Cluster has facilitated the reception of a total 12,716 m3 of relief items for storage.

With a complex operation spanning three countries, coordination between actors is paramount. The Logistics Cluster holds regular coordination meetings in Damascus, Erbil, Gaziantep and Antakya, as well as ad-hoc meetings in different locations within Syria. In addition, trainings on core logistics topics have also been facilitated across the region in 2019. 12 trainings have been conducted this year, with a total of 345 humanitarians from 94 organisations participating.

Looking ahead, the Logistics Cluster seeks to continue its expansion of capacity building initiatives in an effort to build operational expertise for a collaborative humanitarian logistics response across the WoS. A particular focus will be placed on strengthening logistics capacity within Syria, based on gaps and needs identified by the humanitarian response community. Moreover, the Logistics Cluster will continue to facilitate access to logistics services, as well as maintain a strong regional information management and coordination system to ensure a harmonised response across the three countries.

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In its fifth year of widespread conflict, Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The situation is persistently volatile amidst a severe economic decline, food insecurity, cholera outbreaks, and natural disasters that exacerbate existing vulnerabilities (OCHA 2019). The Logistics Cluster has been active in Yemen since June 2011, and continues to support humanitarian responders through coordination, information management, and access to common logistics services.

The Logistics Cluster, in close coordination with its partners, has been adapting its strategy and activities to meet the needs of humanitarian responders, and to maintain a reliable and effective logistics response. During 2019, notwithstanding new and complex challenges presented by the fluid context, the Logistics Cluster has continued to facilitate access for the humanitarian community to the following common logistics services: air cargo transport, passenger sea transport, sea cargo transport, inland road transport and storage of relief items.

The air cargo transport service connects Djibouti to Sana’a ensuring the delivery of urgent lifesaving supplies and will run until the end of 2019. From January to October 2019, 2,100 m3 of cargo was airlifted through WFP-charted flights.

Since May 2016, the Logistics Cluster has been coordinating and facilitating a weekly passenger sea transport service between Djibouti and Aden and between Djibouti and Hudaydah through two WFP chartered vessels, VOS Apollo and VOS Theia. The schedule allows passengers to easily connect with UNHAS flights in and out of Djibouti and Aden. The vessels have a capacity of 600 mt and are therefore also used for sea cargo transport from Djibouti to Aden and to Hudaydah when the need arises. In addition, both vessels are used for emergency rescue and evacuation purposes. This continues to prove crucial, as most recently demonstrated by the escalation of violence that sparked in Aden during August 2019. Due to the volatility of the context, the in-country Security Management Team (SMT) decided to maintain the VOS Theia continuously on stand-by in Aden port. Therefore, the sea service that connects Djibouti to Hudaydah for the time being has been put on hold for the time being. From January to October 2019, over 250 passengers from 15 organisations and 21,000 m3 of humanitarian cargo was transported via sea services.

Challenges affecting road transport from the south to the north of the country, humanitarian access, and movement restrictions particularly impacted the downstream supply chain of Logistics Cluster partners, and as a result the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need. Despite the above, the Logistics Cluster continues to facilitate inland road transport. So far this year, 48,700 m3 of humanitarian supplies have been transported on behalf of 30 organisations, covering over 96 locations.

17,640 m2 of common storage capacity across Aden, Bajil, Hodeidah and Sana’a is made available to the humanitarian community in Yemen. In addition, the Logistics Cluster has also loaned 15 MSUs to 8 organisations to be deployed where most needed, to be managed as common storage for all humanitarian responders in need. Overall since January 2019, 40,000 m3 of cargo has been accepted into storage in Aden, Bajil, Hudaydah and Sana’a.

Fuel provision services, made available to the humanitarian community since 2011, were transferred during the second quarter to WFP Bilateral Service Provision to continue to fulfill ad-hoc cost recovery fuel requests (diesel and petrol) that may originate from humanitarian organisations in Yemen.

Whilst the operating context remains volatile, the Logistics Cluster will continue to facilitate access to common storage capacity and air, sea and inland transport services alongside coordination and information management in Sana’a and Aden. This is done to maximise the use of available resources in-country and avoid duplication of efforts. The Logistics Cluster is also looking to strengthen its capacity building and training programmes in 2020 with a focus on national staff and national organisations.

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The Logistics Cluster continues to monitor the situation in Cameroon. Activated in October 2018 specifically in relation to the North-West South-West crisis which has seen insecurity and attacks against civilians cause mass movements of people, the Logistics Cluster deployed a Coordinator and Information Management Officer to the country to meet with partners and conduct logistics gaps and needs analysis. Following consultations with humanitarian organisations working on the response as well as the WFP Country Office, and with sufficient commercial capacity to meet humanitarian needs, it was determined that no active cluster activities are required at this time, and as such the cluster was moved to a dormant status.


More than seven years after civil unrest erupted in Libya during the 2011 Arab Spring, the country continues to face widespread insecurity. Recurrent clashes among local armed factions controlling different parts of the country have led to extreme instability and political divisions, with the latest incidents in and around Tripoli leading to a further displacement of population. Security and access constraints are the major operational challenges for responding organisations, especially around Tripoli and in the east and the south of the country, and are impacting the ability of organisations to deliver relief items in an effective and efficient manner. Informational support continues to be key for responding organisations and their operational planning, with the Logistics Sector publishing 36 information updates as at 31 October 2019.


Following Category 3 Cyclone Idai making landfall in central Mozambique on 14 March, the Logistics Cluster was activated on 20 March to assist the humanitarian community in their efforts to deliver lifesaving items to affected areas. Six weeks later the operation in Mozambique expanded after Category 4 Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Cabo Delgado Province in the country’s north. Both cyclones caused significant damage to logistics infrastructure across the affected areas including warehouses, roads and bridges, with the number of people affected reaching over 2.2 million.

During the response, the Logistics Cluster provided support to 102 organisations across multiple coordination cells in Maputo, Beira, Chimoio and Pemba, and published a total of 127 information management products including 36 maps via a dedicated webpage. The Logistics Cluster, through WFP in its role as lead agency and other humanitarian partners, also supported responding organisations through facilitation of access to common services, including storage of 3,974 m3 of relief items across eight locations, transport of 1814 mt of humanitarian cargo via road, sea, river and air, and the distribution of 3,238 litres of fuel. Support was also provided in the form of cargo flight reception at both Beira and Pemba airports, with the Logistics Cluster receiving 101 flights totalling 2,143 mt of relief items.


In early March, a severe weather system formed off the eastern coast of Mozambique, bringing heavy rains and strong winds to southern Malawi, before tracking back to the Mozambique channel. Here it intensified into Cyclone Idai which made landfall in Mozambique on 14 March, continuing to Malawi where it caused significant infrastructure damage to the country’s south. Through coordination, information sharing and facilitating access to common logistics services, the Logistics Sector, co-led by WFP and the Malawian Ministry of Transport and Public Works, assisted the humanitarian community in their efforts to deliver lifesaving items to affected areas. During the response, organisations were supported through the provision of information management with a total of 55 information management products published via a dedicated webpage. The Logistics Sector also facilitated access for the government and responding humanitarian organisations to common logistics services including storage in five locations throughout the country with 1,761 m3 of relief items stored over the course of the response, the road transport of 1,305 mt of humanitarian cargo, and the boat transport of 129 humanitarian passengers to areas cut-off by road. Over the length of the response, a total of 31 organisations were supported.


Following severe flooding and infrastructural damage to Manicaland Province caused by the remnants of Cyclone Idai which crossed into the country as a tropical storm on 17 March, the Logistics Cluster was activated in Zimbabwe in early April in support of the humanitarian response. Severe damage to roads and bridges in the affected area meant that air transport was the most effective means of reaching populations with assistance.

To enable this, the Logistics Cluster, through WFP, facilitated access to air transport for the humanitarian community using one Mi8 helicopter which transported a total of 88 mt of humanitarian cargo to 15 locations. Common storage was also made available with 541 m3 of relief items stored over the length of the response. Information also proved crucial to the response, with 46 information updates published on a dedicated webpage during the response. In total, 24 organisations were supported throughout the response.


The Logistics Cluster has been officially activated in-country to support the humanitarian response to the crisis. Due to the absence of WFP in Venezuela, OCHA is best positioned to act as lead agency with support from the Global Logistics Cluster in Rome. A Logistics Cluster Coordinator and Information Manager were deployed to the country in early November.


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Investing in preparedness saves time, lives and money during emergency response and reduces the need for international mobilisation. The Logistics Cluster’s field-based preparedness activities seek to enhance the humanitarian community’s capacity to prepare for and response to emergencies through strengthening collaboration among actors and supporting locally-led actions and advocacy efforts.

The Global Logistics Cluster Preparedness Project’s objective is to enable and support local governments, national and international NGOs, UN agencies, development partners and the private sector, to have a coordinated approach towards improved local supply chain resilience and ensure actors are well prepared for joint humanitarian logistics responses and information exchange in emergency-prone countries. Preparedness activities are currently ongoing in seven countries as well as the Pacific region.

In Bangladesh, a major milestone was reached in August when a three-day, simulation-based emergency logistics gaps analysis workshop was held. The in-country Preparedness Officer worked closely with the Bangladesh Ministry for Disaster Management and Relief, WFP Country Office and the Global Logistics Cluster to bring together 72 national actors to explore how they would respond to a large-scale earthquake in Dhaka. In Laos, the Logistics Cluster is supporting the Laotian Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare with capacity building to support its Mobile Storage Unit pre-positioning strategy in strategic areas to aid rapid temporary relief item storage following disasters. In Madagascar, a joint Memorandum of Understanding between WFP and the Madagascar National Disaster Management Agency, BNGRC, has been signed in order to strengthen logistics coordination mechanisms at regional and national levels, and the first ever Logistics Response Team Training to be conducted in French was held in-country.

Following the Cyclone Idai response earlier this year, preparedness activities have begun in both Malawi and Mozambique, with workshops being held in both countries to bring together members of government ministries and humanitarian actors to map logistics gaps and address contingency planning. Work will continue in both countries to develop next steps, working towards the development of a government-led national action plan.

Preparedness activities have also begun in both Haiti and Iraq with preparedness officers deployed in September, however ongoing protests and instability in both countries have impeded progress so far. The Preparedness Project is also rolling out in the Philippines in November, with a Preparedness Officer due to begin work in-country by mid-month.

Finally, the Global Logistics Cluster also continues to support global level preparedness activities such as the development of the Preparedness and Response Platform – a dynamic, near real-time, digital information tool designed to provide humanitarian logisticians with key logistics information – as well as bringing together key stakeholders at the global level through the Global Logistics Preparedness Working Group forum.

Strategy Goals


In September 2019, the Logistics Cluster community finalised its first ever Strategy Implementation Plan for activities at the global level demonstrating the strength of the cluster partnership.

As a management, monitoring and evaluation tool for global level cluster activities, the plan will strengthen accountability and enhance coordination amongst the multitude of cluster stakeholders, and increase the visibility and direct involvement of partners in cluster activities.

The current community-driven strategy was adopted by the Logistics Cluster in 2016, but the decision to strengthen collaboration with a results-based management framework was only taken in May 2018.

Subsequently, a dedicated Working Group led a year-long drafting process to translate the “vision” and “goals” of the Logistics Cluster Strategy for 2016-2021 into a measurable roadmap for action.

Consultations were held with Logistics Cluster partners at the Global Meetings in Rome 2018 and Dubai 2019 with the KPI, Preparedness, and Lessons Learned Working Groups, and with the Global Logistics Cluster Support Team.

The resulting draft plan was finalised and endorsed at the Global Meeting in Dublin in September 2019.

Already in Dublin, 28 partner organisations tentatively signed up 102 times to implement activities in the plan. Discussions on nine selected activity areas were also kicked off to capture the know-how and experience of the broader community ahead of the implementation phase.