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Supporting humanitarian aid delivery – the role of response depot networks

Pettit, Stephen John ORCID: and Roh, Saeyeon ORCID: 2008. Supporting humanitarian aid delivery – the role of response depot networks. Presented at: Improving Disaster Supply Chain Management: Key supply chain factors for humanitarian relief, Baton Rouge, LA, USA, 16-18 November 2008.

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There is strong evidence that natural disasters around the world are increasing in terms of both frequency and impact; disaster prone areas are experiencing more frequent emergencies and previously benign areas, unaffected by extremes, are now affected. The disaster profile for each region tends to differ with implications for humanitarian aid provision. Nonetheless, the most common major natural disasters that affect specific regions are floods, windstorms, droughts and earthquakes, giving some predictability which can assist in the preparedness phase, but timing, extent and duration of such emergencies remain unpredictable. Areas prone to natural hazards are also vulnerable to civil or political strife which is often precipitated by famine, water shortage or other natural extremes. The crucial role of logistics in emergency relief has been recognised by the organisations involved in field operations and through research which has highlighted a range of activities dependent on emergency supplies. Humanitarian aid delivery and emergency relief operations are often complex, involving many organisations and several phases of activity: all of which are important. International agencies aim to limit the impact of natural disasters by operating a worldwide response network supported by infrastructure such as freight depots in strategic locations. The main objective of developing such a network, supported by transport capability, is to reduce response times and costs when an emergency occurs. This paper focuses primarily on activities related to the preparedness phase, specifically the issues surrounding the pre‐positioning of aid by agencies, in order to ensure a faster response time in the event of a disaster occurring. Issues pertaining to pre positioning are discussed, examples of existing networks analysed and suggestions made as to techniques which can be used to assess the locations of ‘best fit’ for warehouses in such networks. At the present time different agencies operate their own global networks; it is suggested here that relief provision would be more effective if a collaborative warehouse strategy, involving several agencies, were adopted. Further, in light of the evidence suggesting more frequent crises and emergencies in new areas, the current warehouse network should be expanded to improve future humanitarian response.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Uncontrolled Keywords: logistics; operations management
Additional Information: Conference organized by the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute and the Information Systems & Decision Sciences Department of Louisiana State University
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:28

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