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[E-book] Best Practices and Lessons Learnt in Emergency Procurement

by Vanessa Thevathasan, Aid International Development Forum

  •  April 07, 2015
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Looking ahead to the AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit 2015, the Aid and International Development Forum (AIDF) has released the AIDF Guide to Emergency Procurement. Within disaster relief logistics, procurement accounts for 65% of total expenditures. The latest figures released by the United Nations Procurement Division found the total procurement of goods increased by $826 million, a jump of 12.1 percent. This reflects a stark trend: the last decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of natural disasters across the world. 

While mega-emergencies, such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Cyclone Phailin in India, capture widespread international attention, this ignores the reality that thousands of smaller scale emergencies take place every day leaving communities in urgent need of assistance for survival and recovery.  Disasters do not affect everyone equally. Varying geophysical and climactic factors place certain populations at greater risk. Low-income countries account for near to 90 percent of global reported mortality.  Whether catastrophic rapid disasters or slow on-set crises, many countries are now seeing such disasters are the “new normal”, wiping out decades of development and stifling progress, keeping millions in poverty.

With natural disasters projected to increase in frequency, intensity and unpredictability, emergency procurement is a vital aspect to facilitating more efficient and effective disaster response. The guide brings together the best practices and lessons learnt in order to tackle the core concerns most commonly experienced by procurement staff and emergency specialists. Its main aim is to provide the different industries with key insight into current approaches, thinking and developments to promote faster, safer and more effective assistance to countries in their most critical time of need.

The guide focuses on disaster procurement preparedness, disaster response with a particular emphasis on local procurement as well as innovation, communications and coordination

Speaking on the merits of local emergency procurement, Rino Sudibyo of Plan International, states: “local procurement can support livelihood of the local population that are affected, [e]mpowering the local market. Beneficiaries will be more excited and interested in building back their community.”

By spotlighting the food crises in Somalia, Ebola in West Africa, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and well as cyclones in Philippines and recently Vanuatu, the guide provides a valuable insight into the common challenges and successes within emergency procurement.

The guide is a timely release for AIDF’s upcoming 7th Global Disaster Relief Summit in Washington DC on 10-11 September. AIDF’s work is premised on the belief that  collaboration and partnerships across regions and sectors are key to developing more effective disaster response that will also protect each country’s progress towards sustainable development.

During the two-day summit, international experts will gather to discuss how technological innovations and best practices can assist in disaster response and aid delivery in more effective, sustainable and cost-efficient way. AIDF has developed the agenda in consultation with key organisations, such as UNOCHA, World Vision, UNOPS, USAID, Red Cross, World Bank, Aidmatrix, and CIPS.

For more information about the event and to register, please visit disaster-relief.aidforum.org.

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