The Challenges of Logistics and Supply Chain in a Humanitarian Crisis

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The Challenges of Logistics and Supply Chain in a Humanitarian Crisis

12 April 2022

The Challenges of Logistics and Supply Chain  in a Humanitarian Crisis

The Challenges of Logistics and Supply Chain  in a Humanitarian Crisis

On Thursday 24th March 2022 CILT Ireland invited a number of speakers established in the area of humanitarian logistics to deliver a webinar based on the challenges logistics and supply chain face during a humanitarian crisis such as the war unfortunately still unfolding in Ukraine. 

This online event was opened by Patrick Casey, CILT International Vice President 

Janet Craven from Irish Red Cross, Will Holden of the Irish Emergency Logistics Team and Ray Grange, PhD candidate and Logistics Manager of the Irish Defence Forces shared their various experiences and expertise on what is currently unfolding in Ukraine and how best to help as a civilian onlooker. 

The Irish people have been incredibly generous in their efforts thus far at donating various goods, donating funds and in collection efforts towards Ukraine however the point the Irish Red Cross were keen to make is that unfortunately despite best intentions a lot of these well meaning donations tend to 'clog up the network' and cause untold pressure when it comes to volunteers on the ground looking to distribute the goods. 

Will Holden reiterated this poin with the advice that 'Cash is king,' and called for cash donations to reputable sources alongside the likes of sim cards and mobile phones to enable the lines of communication to remain clear for those who may be displaced due to the ongoig crisis. 

The importance of social media and communication was reinforced by Ray Grange who is undertaking a PhD currently in the role social media plays in disaster. The term citizen journalism was mentioned, by definition citizen journalism also known as collaborative media, participatory journalism, democratic journalism, guerrilla journalism or street journalism, is based upon public citizens "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information." Where issues of propaganda may arise it is of the utmost importance that those at the coalface of the crisis are able to properly communicate and share their lived experiences. 

Overall, a very well attended and successful webinar with a number of thought provoking queries flying in from our interested audience. As per usual the logistics and transport sphere is one that could be discussed by CILT members at length and we were delighted to hear the insight from both speakers and attendees on such a delicate topic such as humanitarian logistics. 

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