Unicef and Flexport join forces to improve provision of humanitarian aid


Aid organization Unicef and supply chain technology company Flexport.org have joined forces aimed at driving access to critical supplies for children worldwide by addressing logistics bottlenecks for humanitarian response. In addition, both organizations are exploring other areas of collaboration for more effective, efficient and sustainable supply chains for humanitarian aid.

Since the collaboration between Unicef and Flexport.org – the impact arm of digital freight forwarder Flexport – began in 2021, it has already helped to expand access to critical supplies and services for vulnerable children and their families in countries including Afghanistan, Chad, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Yemen.

Over the past two years, Flexport.org has supported the delivery of almost 500,000kg of critical supplies for Unicef’s global humanitarian relief efforts. These include ready-to-use therapeutic food, syringes for vaccinations, water, sanitation and hygiene supplies, diapers, blankets and water tanks, as well as stock replenishment and temperature-controlled storage. In total, Flexport has contributed more than US$2 million worth of transportation services to the partnership.

Unicef’s four pillars of engagement

The expansion of this partnership will allow Unicef to strengthen its humanitarian aid around the world based on four pillars of engagement: 1) in-kind transportation of Unicef-managed supplies via air freight, ocean freight and land transport in response to humanitarian crises, and to support Unicef’s programmes and priorities worldwide, 2) emergency logistics solutions as situations arise, including warehousing services, bespoke logistics support and targeted expertise, 3) sustainable supply chain solutions to reduce the environmental, social and economic impact of logistics, and 4) strategic supply chain planning to develop innovative solutions to increase access to essential supplies in the hardest-to-reach places.

Supply chain pressure during emergencies

“Supply chains come under intense pressure during emergencies. This partnership with Flexport.org will help Unicef to address bottlenecks and quickly deliver life-saving supplies to children and their communities in times of crisis,” says Etleva Kadilli, director of Unicef’s global supply and logistics operations. “Efficient, streamlined logistics are critical to global humanitarian assistance response,” adds Kristen Dohnt, head of Flexport.org. “We are excited to partner with Unicef to leverage our combined expertise to overcome logistics bottlenecks and improve the delivery of humanitarian supplies to children in need, especially in remote and challenging locations.”