The Logistics Cluster is a coordination mechanism hosted by WFP that is activated when there are response and coordination gaps in addressing humanitarian needs in order to ensure an efficient and effective emergency response. Created in 2005, the Cluster is comprised of a group of humanitarian actors committed to addressing the logistics needs in humanitarian situations. By ensuring strategic coordination, information management and the facilitation of common logistics services by road, air, and sea, the Logistics Cluster provides for the humanitarian community as a whole.
The Logistics Cluster also works to develop and improve the capacity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the logistics response in future emergencies. Preparedness trainings, activities and tools are available to benefit the entire humanitarian community through the Logistics Cluster, and represent the combined expertise of the humanitarian logistics sector.
The Cluster Approach is a vital element to the Humanitarian Reform. To put it simple, a cluster is a group of organizations working together on specific topics to improve humanitarian response - mandated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and globally supervised by the Emergency Response Coordinator.
Since the first activation during the Pakistan earthquake response in 2005, the Logistics Cluster has supported the logistics response for over 50 emergency operations wolrdwide - most recently in West Africa, Nepal, Yemen and Ukraine. In 2014 alone, the Logistics Cluster ran 13 operations, supported 160 humanitarian organizations and delivered over 27,000 metric tonnes of relief supplies to over 140 locations worldwide.
WFP and the Logistics Cluster
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, and the United Nations agency charged with addressing hunger worldwide. Logistics is at the core of WFP’s operations. Because of its expertise in humanitarian logistics and its field capacity, the UN World Food Programme was chosen by the IASC as the lead agency of the Logistics Cluster.
Each year WFP distributes approximately 4 million metric tonnes of food, facing the challenges of reaching 80 million beneficiaries in some of the most difficult to reach locations on the planet. WFP operates an average of 60 aircraft, 40 ships, and 5,000 trucks on any given day. A strong presence in more than 80 countries combined with an extensive local and global network of technical expertise allows WFP to effectively manage large-scale and complex logistics operations.
As the global lead of the Logistics Cluster, WFP is responsible for ensuring that a well-coordinated, efficient, and effective logistics response takes place for each and every emergency. This applies not only in terms of WFP food assistance, but for all humanitarian actors participating in the response to sudden-onset and complex emergencies.
The Creation of Logistics Cluster
The cluster approach was adopted in 2005 as a result of the Humanitarian Reform process launched by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, through the IASC. The Reform aimed to address consistent gaps and weaknesses and to improve international responses to humanitarian crisis, by strengthening response capacity, coordination and accountability, enhancing partnerships in key sectors, including Logistics.
For more information on the Logistics Cluster, please visit www.logcluster.org.