Logistics databank to improve global relief response

Published: 12 February 2018 - 9:12 a.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, United Nations Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City (IHC), has launched a new humanitarian database project to support aid efforts.

The launch event was attended by Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during day one of World Government Summit (WGS 2018), with other dignitaries from the UAE.

The Humanitarian Logistics Databank is an international project to share data on the availability and location of humanitarian aid resources, so that relief agencies can more effectively access the assets they need.

The project is designed and led by International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai, with support from major humanitarian agencies, including The World Food Programme, The World Health Organisation, The UN Refugee Agency, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF and the close cooperation of OCHA, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Letters of Intent signing ceremony was attended by the heads of major international aid agencies, including the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley, and Secretary General Elhadj As Sy of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The Humanitarian Logistics Databank is an information sharing platform dedicated to emergency preparedness and response. It facilitates the collection and sharing of data in real-time on prepositioned aid and humanitarian assets, helping to make emergency responses more timely and cost-efficient.

The Humanitarian Logistics Databank will provide the global humanitarian community with a common database capable of processing up to date statistics on aid assets, locally, regionally and internationally.

The databank will also provide automated tracking of aid movements based on customs data from ports, airports, and other entry points.

This will provide relief agencies with precise information on the location and status of critical relief items such as food, medicine and shelter, to improve collaboration and avoid bottlenecks of supplies in ports and airports.

In the first phase, the project will begin gathering data on aid shipments from Dubai in 2018. It will then be replicated in other humanitarian hubs across the world by January 2019

Speaking at the launch in Dubai, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein said: "The lives of millions of people depend on the global humanitarian community and we believe that this much needed platform will dramatically help improve international aid and emergency response. The Humanitarian Logistics Databank will help build greater cooperation among aid providers and improve productivity and efficiency.  This is a home-grown innovation that will serve people from all around the region and the world at times when they need it most."

The project is being carried out by the IHC with the support of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the UN Logistics Cluster managed by the World Food Programme (WFP). It has also received technical support from the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the cooperation of IHC's and NGO operational members.

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