WFP Head And Director-General Of Italian Development Cooperation Inaugurate New UNHRD Facilities In San Vito Dei Normanni

Published on 17 June 2014

BRINDISI – New humanitarian response facilities were inaugurated today at the former US military base at San Vito dei Normanni (near Brindisi), in the presence of the the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin, the Director of the Italian Development Cooperation, Giampaolo Cantini, and several national and local authorities.

The new facilities, made available by the Italian Government, will allow the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi to strengthen its effectiveness and provide more operational tools to respond to humanitarian emergencies.

Marking the occasion, Cousin and Cantini signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Italy and WFP, which outlines the specifications of the contributions to UNHRD and provision of services to the Italian Cooperation as a key user of the facilities.

The UNHRD Network is a rapid response mechanism able to dispatch relief items anywhere in the world within 48 hours. The Network focuses on strategic stockpiling of relief items, and provision of comprehensive supply chain solutions (procurement, transport, etc.) and capacity building of national/regional entities. It currently has 59 humanitarian partners, including UN agencies, NGOs and Governments.

The effectiveness of the humanitarian action that begins in Brindisi is shown in recent interventions in the Central African Republic, Syria and the Balkans where, following the flooding in May, nine full charter flights were sent to Serbia and Bosnia over two weeks, with the first flight in the air 24 hours after receiving a call for assistance.

This year, Italy has invested nearly 4 million euros in the Brindisi depot (2 million of direct financing and 1.9 million towards operations for the Italian Development Cooperation). This contribution makes Italy the largest donor to the Brindisi depot.

The benefits of the new facilities include: increased emergency simulation trainings, expanded storage capacity to accommodate the growing storage needs of the international community and Italian NGOs, enhanced operational flexibility as the office and warehouse facilities are now located in the same compound.

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The United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi manages relief items on behalf of the humanitarian community. Strategic stockpiles of emergency relief goods are available at any given time and, at the onset of an emergency, UNHRD is ready to dispatch immediately.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Stefano Peveri, Manager UNHRD Brindisi, Tel. +39 0831 506650, Mob. +39 340 6789767,
Carmelita Peruzzi, Tel. +39 0831.506673

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. In 2013, WFP assisted more than 80 million people in 75 countries.

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For more information please contact (email address:
Vichi De Marchi, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 6513 2058, Mob.: +39-348 0517 605,