Jacqui Gavin is Deputy Head of Global Logistics at International Medical Corps. She is currently supporting International Medical Corps’ emergency response efforts in South Sudan and will be blogging about her experience serving thousands of Sudanese refugees.
Marin Tomas, global logistics manager, International Medical Corps, was interviewed by Paulo Goncalves, associate professor, University of Lugano, Switzerland, to talk about emergency response for logistics.
Working with together with GE and the GE Foundation to deliver critical medical equipment to Chad, Darfur, and CAR
Since 1984, International Medical Corps' Logistics staff has provided procurement, shipping and supply chain operations in 70 countries, responding to the world's most challenging humanitarian crises.
International Medical Corps’ Logistics capacity has expanded exponentially since our early days in Afghanistan, when the organization relied on a small group of dedicated volunteers for support. Since then, the Logistics team has grown to include an international network of staff and has responded to large-scale emergencies - including the Indian Ocean tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, conflict in Libya, and famine in East Africa - while continuing to support International Medical Corps’ ongoing relief programs in some 30 countries worldwide.
Logistics is orchestrated primarily at the field or country level by a combination of local and international staff. They provide day-to-day support for in-country programs by organizing local procurement, storage, maintenance and distribution of all materials needed.
In International Medical Corps’ response in Ethiopia for instance, this includes the provision of vehicles and communications equipment for staff; in-country receipt and onward trucking of latrine materials and sanitation tools; distribution of feeding materials; and negotiation for storage in camp locations.
In-country operations are supported by a global management team - working from headquarters and base offices on three continents – which procures/tracks/ships internationally and serves as the focal point for the initial stages of an emergency response. International Medical Corps Logistics is further supplemented by a group of roving staff who cover in-country capacity building, and can deploy logistics experts to any crisis in the world within 24 hours.
International Medical Corps Logistics routinely operates in some of the world’s harshest environments. Personnel are often the first onsite and routinely handle some of the most complex logistical challenges found in the world today - whether it’s airlifting ambulances onto islands in Southeast Asia, setting up a field hospital and sending doctors, nurses and medical equipment into Libya, or transporting clinic construction materials into the jungles of Liberia.
International Medical Corps Logistics serves as the organization’s foundation for launching vital health care programs that relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.