Loading vital supplies
WFP’s storage tents, generators, water tanks and other equipment are loaded onto a chartered aircraft at the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Italy. There are five other UNHRDs around the world that store and dispatch emergency supplies for governments, UN agencies and NGOs when disasters strike.
Six hours after take-off, WFP’s cargo arrives at Monrovia’s international airport. It needs to be swiftly offloaded so there is enough space for other cargo planes to land. On average, three planes full of items donated by governments and humanitarian organisations are landing in Liberia each day.
Huge storage hub in the city
The items are trucked 50 kms from the airport to a large supply hub in Monrovia. An old basketball stadium and several large white tents are being used to store the tonnes of cargo arriving daily for the Government, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organisations responding to the crisis.
Coordinating with humanitarian organisations
Twice a week, around 25 organisations gather for a Logistics Cluster meeting. This is where logistics issues are identified and discussed, and challenges overcome. Here, the group discusses the smaller, remote supply hubs being set up to store supplies from the humanitarian community. Why? To make sure medical and humanitarian goods can reach every remote community.
In rain or shine, supplies are moving
After being briefly stored in the main supply hub in Monrovia, WFP’s cargo begins a two-day journey north to Voinjama, near the border of Guinea and Sierra Leone. This gear will be used to build one of six remote supply hubs in Liberia.
Getting to hard-to-reach places
Before the cargo arrives in Voinjama, WFP staff fly there to prepare for its arrival. The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) have daily helicopter flights to remote locations around the country.
Setting up in the jungle
Once the equipment arrives in Voinjama, it takes a few days to clear the land and set up the storage tents. Here you can see the first tent already erected. The facility will soon be ready and will store items like protective clothing for health care workers, medical supplies for Ebola patients, food for quarantined communities and hygiene products for families.
Buckets, gloves, masks and tents; these are just some of the critical supplies to be stored in the supply hubs around Liberia. One of the most important parts of the entire Ebola response operation is making sure the right supplies reach where they’re needed as soon as possible.