Supply chain in emergencies: challenges and opportunities identified with state of the art preparedness exercise
Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 - 13:15

From 24 to 27 October, the Logistics Cluster, in collaboration with WFP GIS and WFP Emergency Preparedness and with the support of Madagascar Country Office, conducted a Logistics Preparedness Response Planning Exercise in Antananarivo, bringing together organisations across sectors. The three-day response planning exercise included three different emergency scenarios, namely two cyclones and one plague outbreak.

Twenty-seven participants from ten organisations, including the Government of Madagascar Malagasy Red Cross, Private Sector Humanitarian Platform Madagascar, Institu Pasteur and ECHO, took part to the exercise. Participants, divided in three groups, assessed national capacities and the potential scale and impact of a disaster, outlining supply chain capability required, potential gaps and needs and defining the appropriate response actions.

Developed in collaboration with the WFP GIS team, the Logistics Cluster Preparedness Platform was key in enabling the exercise. Thanks to this mapping tool, it was possible to analyse and visualise information on logistics network, allowing participants to identify corridors, as well as access potential bottlenecks and to graphically articulate the response. Each group developed a Logistics Concept of Operations, on the basis of local knowledge and logistics datasets contained in the Platform, potential supply chain points of entry, logistics routes and prepositioning locations, and outline risk mitigation options and recommendations. The three day simulation was very successful and represented a significant step forward in the implementation of Logistics Cluster preparedness in Madagascar, as well as a ready to be replicated exercise in the other priority countries. Selected as a priority preparedness country in May 2016 – together with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Haiti, Myanmar and Nigeria – Madagascar was hit by cyclone Enawo in March 2017. The storm caused flooding and severe wind damages in the North East of the country and put a strain on national and local capacities. The Global Logistics Cluster provided support to the National Disaster Management Agency, the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC), and this collaboration has strengthened the relationship with the Government of Madagascar, as well as providing valuable lessons for future responses and a baseline for preparedness activities.