UNHRD schools journalists on global emergency response management

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm April 28, 2017 06:14

UNHRD schools journalists on global emergency response management

The United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD), says it was working closely with national and regional disaster management bodies across the globe to improve upon their capacities in responding to emergencies promptly and adequately.

Currently, the UNHRD is supporting humanitarian efforts in North-east Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan where more than 20millon people facing threats of starvation and famine

The UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien made this known when some journalists from Ghana, Tanzania, India and France recently toured the UNHR depot at Brindisi in Italy.The tour took the journalists to the headquarters of three Rome-based UN food and agriculture agencies, – the World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Fund for Agriculture  Development (IFAD).

The tour was sponsored by the United States Mission to the UN  agencies in Rome, Italy (USUN Rome) and was aimed providing an opportunity for the journalists to learn at firsthand the operations of the three Rome-based UN agencies and also to build their capacities to report effectively on food security, humanitarian assistance and agricultural development.

The journalists also visited the UNHRD Lab on the same compound where the depot is located at Brindisi.

The UNHRD is managed by the World Food Program (WFP) and operates six depots worldwide.

It serves as a global emergency preparedness and response tool specialized in the procurement, storage and rapid transportation of relief items and emergency equipment to disaster stricken areas (both man made and natural disasters) across the globe, especially those beyond the capacities of national governments.

The lab is a research and development unit that reviews, optimizes, and tests products for humanitarian operations and provides the best specifications for field items that incorporate new and green technologies.

Depots

Briefing the journalists during the visit at Brindisi, the UNHRD Procurement Officer, Ms Athalie Mayo said the six depots are located at Accra in Ghana, Panama City in Panama, Las Palmas in Spain, Dubai in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

She said the depot in Accra was critical in responding to the humanitarian crisis in North-east Nigeria in 2016.

She stated that more than 230 metric tonnes (MT) of ready to use therapeutic food were dispatched from the UNHRD in Accra.

“In mid-December 2016, the UNHRD’s Rapid Response Team members were deployed to North-east Nigeria to support WFP to scale up its operations, and the efforts of several international organisations.

Ms. Mayo said a Global Partnership For Emergency Preparedness (GPEP) strategic plan spanning 2014 to 2017 has been instituted to guide and enhance emergency preparedness and response across the globe.

Challenges

Mr. Mayo said bureaucratic and cumbersome custom procedures at the national level continue to hamper quick emergency response and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to affected areas and people.

She cited the cases of delays in the recent humanitarian operations in North-east Nigerian and Yemen to cumbersome custom procedures.

Ms.Mayo was however quick to add that officials of the UNHRD were working in close collaboration with national governments to overcome this bottlenecks which often results in the delays in relief items and emergency equipment reaching the people early.

She commended Ghana for hosting UNHR depot in Accra said it was instrumental during the Ebola crisis which hit  some countries in the West African sub region, especially Sierra Leone.

 Source: Graphic.com.gh
Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm April 28, 2017 06:14
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