Logistics


Desert, swamp or jungle, to get food to the hungry, WFP's logistics team has to negotiate some of the toughest terrain on the planet.

On average, WFP reaches more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year.

When the areas needing food are not accessible by road, rail or river, other methods are brought into play. An emergency may require a cargo drop from aircraft or a helicopter airlift, but there are other options too. Locally engaged porters, as well as teams of elephants, yak, donkeys and camels are also used when necessary. 

Always on the move

On any given day WFP operates an average of:

  • 50 aircraft
  • 30 ships
  • 5,000 trucks

The different ways WFP transports food can be grouped into three categories: surface transport, shipping and aviation

Rapid response

About half the food distributed by WFP is sourced directly within the country or region where it is needed. The other half, sourced internationally, is shipped by sea and unloaded in more than 70 ports around the world.

Thanks to a range of strategies, WFP is always able to provide a rapid response to hunger emergencies. A key element in this response is the WFP-managed network of UN Humanitarian Response Depots. These are hubs, positioned near disaster-prone areas around the world, where emergency supplies are stored in readiness.

Serving the humanitarian community

WFP's expertise in logistics meant that in 2005 the agency was mandated to lead logistics operations whenever a humanitarian emergency requires a joint response from UN agencies and the humanitarian community. The group of agencies or organisations which work together is called the Logistics Cluster.

WFP also provides passenger air transport to the entire humanitarian community through the UN Humanitarian Air Service (see video on right), which goes to more than 250 locations worldwide.

Download the WFP Logistics brochure

Logistics Latest

Responding to the Malawi Floods: Mission Possible!

Responding to the Malawi Floods: Mission Possible!

The beginning of 2015 brought torrential rain to the southern regions of Malawi, resulting in historic flooding and prompting the President of Malawi to declare a state of emergency across 15 of the country’s 28 districts. More than 600,000 people are in need of food assistance.

Here's a Quick Way to Learn About WFP's Response to Cyclone Pam

It's been just over two weeks since Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu. WFP is supporting the government-led relief effort by helping organize distributions, logistics services, and providing extra food to supplement government packages for around 160,000 people across 22 islands.

Here are 12 gifs that explain:

Strengthening Disaster Preparedness in the Philippines

Strengthening Disaster Preparedness in the Philippines

It must have seemed like history was repeating itself when just over a year after Typhoon Yolanda caused catastrophic damage in the Philippines, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) first alerted the population to another oncoming Typhoon. Predicted to take the same path as Yolanda, Typhoon Ruby was gaining strength as it slowly twisted its way west across the Pacific ocean towards the east coast of the Philippines.