WFP Lays Foundation Stone Of Humanitarian Logistics Base In Djibouti

Published on 14 March 2011

DJIBOUTI – A ceremony was held today to lay the foundation stone of a new United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Humanitarian Logistics Base on 40,000 square meters of land made available to WFP by the Government of Djibouti.

The new base will enhance the regional logistical supply chain network for humanitarian assistance.

“We are pleased to begin construction of this Humanitarian Logistics Base. With the support of our donors and partners, we are confident that the base will make it easier than ever before for humanitarian assistance to reach those in need in the region in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Martin Ohlsen, Director of WFP Logistics in Rome.

The ceremony was hosted by Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, and attended by officials of his government, ambassadors, military officials, members of civil society, representatives from the United Nations and donor representatives from Djibouti and Ethiopia.

The base, which will be managed by WFP, is designed to help overcome delays in moving urgent humanitarian assistance caused by logistics capacity constraints and as a strategic location for the pre-positioning of humanitarian supplies. 
The Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning, Ali Farah Assoweh, said his country was proud to be hosting the humanitarian logistics base and was pleased to make available the plot of land, valued at an estimated US$1.2 million.

At an estimated cost of US$6 million, the base will include a warehouse with capacity for up to 30,000 metric tons of food. Other types of humanitarian supplies from other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations heading to countries in the region can also be stored at the base.

It will also be a logistics training centre for WFP that will be run in cooperation with the Djibouti Government to build the capacity of local logistics service providers.

In addition to routing food assistance through Djibouti for Ethiopia, WFP also brings food destined for northern Somalia through Djibouti port in transit by coastal vessels to Berbera and other ports in Somaliland and Puntland.

The base will operate under a customs bonded status and will function as a free zone area. 

For further information:
Melese Awoke, Public Information Officer-Ethiopia, tel +251 115 51 51 88 ext 2133, mobile +251 911 201 981