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Ireland & the UN Humanitarian Response Depot

The UNHRD is a network of strategically located depots or hubs that procures, stores, and transports emergency relief supplies on behalf of the humanitarian community, including Irish Aid.

  • The UNHRD
  • Ireland’s support to the UNHRD

The UNHRD

UNHRD Map of hubs

Ireland & the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD)

The UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) is a network of strategically located depots or hubs that procures, stores, and transports emergency relief supplies on behalf of the humanitarian community, including Irish Aid. The UNHRD, managed by and situated in the World Food Programme, is focuses on emergency preparedness and response, and enables the strategic stockpiling of relief items and equipment for its partners/users.

The UNHRD network now consists of six strategically placed hubs, located in Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Panama City (Panama) and Las Palmas - Gran Canaria (Spain). These hubs are strategically located near disaster-prone areas within airport complexes, or close to ports and main roads, ensuring transport costs are kept to a minimum and permitting the rapid dispatch of supplies in case of a crisis..

The benefits to Ireland of being a UNHRD partner/user include:

  • Lower prices through economies of scale;
  • Prices agreed and purchases finalised before a crisis strikes;
  • Faster delivery of stocks into crises in the geographic vicinity of the hubs;
  • Shared and lower transport costs from suppliers to hubs and from hubs into crises;
  • Immediate access to contingency stocks and to other UNHRD users' stocks through a loans & borrowing facility.

Ireland’s support to the UNHRD

UNHRD hub, Accra, Ghana. Photo:UNHRD

UNHRD hub, Accra, Ghana. Photo:UNHRD

Under Ireland's partnership with UNHRD, which began in 2006, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency relief supplies (or humanitarian stocks) in 5 of the 6 UNHRD hubs, in Accra, Brindisi, Dubai, Panama City and Kuala Lumpur.

The emergency relief supplies stockpiled and dispatched by Ireland at the initial phase of an emergency are aimed at meeting the needs of affected persons from week 1 to week 4 of the emergency. Almost all of Ireland's emergency relief supplies are transported by air. Ireland currently stockpiles non-food items which are most in demand by people in humanitarian crises including: tents, blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, jerry cans, water tanks, soap, mosquito nets, pickaxes, spades, and squatting plates.

The quantity of stocks held by Ireland throughout the UNHRD network gives us the capacity to meet the needs of 55,000 beneficiaries (or, taking the average family size as 5 persons, 11,000 families). The value of Ireland's current stockpiles at maximum capacity is approximately €2 million.