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After the Storm GHSC-PSM supports emergency response after Cyclone Idai

On March 14th 2019, Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira, Mozambique as a Category 2 storm, with winds exceeding 105mph. Warehouses that serve as a lifeline for essential health commodities arriving in this port city were heavily damaged. GHSC-PSM was there.

We were first to arrive to assess damage to warehouses and health commodities they hold.

Warehouse Munhava in Beira was one of the hardest hit public health warehouses. The building needs major rehabilitation to be operational again, with a third of the roof missing and significant damage to one wall.

Warehouse Munhava in Beira, Mozambique

Warehouse Pioneiros, operated by the Central Medical Stores (CMAM), sustained less damage than Warehouse Munhava.

This diagram helped the Warehouse Pioneiros' landlord (the Ministry of Health) plan for urgent repairs. Roof sheets needed are shown in red and ridge caps are shown in blue.
“GHSC-PSM was one of the very first responders to the cyclone and has been sending daily updates with commodity and supply chain related news and activities since the day after the storm…It is their support that is helping to ensure some organization of the chaos that is ensuing with a massive influx of… humanitarian donations.” from Leah Hasselback, Senior Health Commodities Advisor, USAID/Mozambique
Armazém de Emergência at Pioneiros Warehouse

One risk after a natural disaster like Cyclone Idai is that the local government becomes overwhelmed by the influx of donations from around the world. The World Food Program (WFP) provided two tents to establish an Armazém de Emergência (AEM) on the site of the CMAM Pioneiros Warehouse while it was being repaired. We also reestablished the computerized MACS warehouse management system in the warehouse and created a module specific to the WFP tents to ensure the location of every pallet and carton was documented in the system.

Our staff worked with CMAM to develop new procedures for operations to manage the flow of emergency supplies from the airport and other sources to the AEM, process the deliveries and manage their storage in the WFP tents, and manage the pickup of supplies by emergency responders.

Below left: Brazilian Army delivers medicines Below right: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies picks up supplies

In the days and weeks after the storm, emergency supplies were moving into and out of the AEM. The Brazilian Army was one source of supplies, delivering medicines from Brazil’s Ministry of Health. Other donors included the Força Aérea Nacional de Angola, Tanzania Defense Forces, Indian Navy, and Exercito Portugues. The list of donors whose supplies are managed by the AEM later expanded to include donors like UNFPA and UNICEF; non-governmental organizations; and private sector firms like Avoma Life, Hospitec, and Mozambique Scientific LDA. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was one of the organizations that picked up supplies to distribute around the region.

The AEM played a critical role in effectively responding to Cyclone Idai.

“… the support you are providing is coming in on the right time to ensure an effectiveness of the response towards the joint efforts aimed to save lives of people affected by Cyclone Idai. I, personally, do appreciate very much this active action of combined joint efforts, which are now bringing back to our people, the hope that never dies.” Américo José Ubisse, Member of Parliament, Mozambique
Emergency response in Zimbabwe

Although damage from Cyclone Idai was less severe in Zimbabwe, our team there also supported emergency efforts, helping get supplies – including medicines, emergency supplies, and 160,000 anti-malarial nets – to Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in Manicaland Province that were most impacted by the storm.

Beyond the organizations that supported the emergency response are the many staff and volunteers who worked around the clock for weeks. Below are just a few of the supply chain heroes we worked with.

Flexible, resilient supply chains can help weather any storm.

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GHSC-PSM

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