Planning for Emergencies

Following some conversations with friends about how NGO’s and governments should have better plans for dealing with emergencies, I was delighted to learn through Relief Web that the United Nations World Food Programme was thinking along the same lines.

Un helicopterOn May 18th, UNWFP managers met with consulting experts from business, humanitarian and military sectors who have expertise and technology on supply chain controls and risk management.  The purpose of the consultations were to ensure maximum supply chain security and controls in volatile and destructed environments.

In the one day meeting, they examined the most technologically advanced methods of tracking and delivering food and how these approaches could be implemented into the UNWFP’s high risk operations.

The UN World Food Programme already uses a sophisticated array of checks, balances and controls to ensure that food assistance is delivered to the hungry, including:

— Detailed assessments to determine beneficiary numbers and locations;

— Strict contracting guidelines to ensure that the most trustworthy and reliable transport companies are identified;

— Commodity tracking systems to trace food from donation to distribution;

— Audits designed to constantly review humanitarian operations.

CharityOn the ground, this makes the difference between getting food to disaster victims or being delayed for days while hungry people pray for relief.  So hurrah! for the UNWFP having this day of consultations and planning.  Many people in future disasters will benefit, as well as some in current disasters.

My main question about this is – who’s going to do such an emergency planning session for saving animals in situations such as the current Gulf oil spill?

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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