Following the recent G20 side event co-hosted by the Italian Government and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) focusing on the role of logistics in current and future health emergencies, WFP and the World Health Organization (WHO) are launching INITIATE2, a joint project to bring together emergency actors, research and academic institutions, and international and national partners to promote knowledge sharing and skills transfer for improved emergency response to health crises.
INITIATE will develop standardized, innovative solutions such as disease-specific field facilities and kits and test these solutions in real-life scenarios. The agencies will also train logistics and health responders on their installation and use, contributing to their capacity to respond in health crises. The project will be developed and replicated in countries for relevant personnel, building on past experiences in emergency response.
Health emergencies like the West Africa Ebola response and the current COVID-19 pandemic have shown just how crucial working together as a humanitarian community is, and so we're extremely pleased to be able to further cement our role as an enabler of humanitarian response through this collaboration with WHO."
Alex Marianelli, WFP Director of Supply Chain
"The WHO-WFP-led COVID-19 Supply Chain System has already illustrated an end-to-end integration of technical and operational capacities for impact," said Dr Ibrahima Soce-Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergencies Response, WHO. "With INITIATE2, WFP and WHO are now extending the collaboration to build synergies among different actors and foster innovation in this critical field, to quickly respond to health emergencies and create a conducive environment for knowledge sharing and skills transfer. This is an excellent example of how we can scale and harmonize emergency preparedness, readiness, and response."
The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world's largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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The World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States across six regions, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being.
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The initiative will combine WFP and WHO's technical expertise and will leverage the existing infrastructure of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, the first in a network of six strategically located hubs around the world which store and dispatch relief items on behalf of the humanitarian community. INITIATE2 will capitalise on these facilities and experience: the Brindisi hub is regularly used to organize large-scale emergency simulations and hosts the UNHRD Lab, where innovative emergency response products are developed and tested.