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Delivering supplies

Respond to emergencies

Delivering supplies

UNHCR provides life-saving supplies to support people forced to flee.

Our teams work hard to anticipate, plan, source and deliver essential supplies, ensuring the right products are available where people need them most.
A woman smiles as she pulls a blue tarpaulin into place over a makeshift shelter.

Sudanese refugee Aziza constructs a shade shelter to protect her family from the scorching sun at the UNHCR transit centre in Renk, South Sudan.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, delivers life-saving supplies to people forced to flee to keep them safe.

Supply is an integral part of UNHCR’s operations and a critical success factor for the fulfilment of our mandate to protect displaced and stateless people.  

Our teams work hard to effectively anticipate, plan, source, purchase and deliver goods and services, ensuring the necessary supplies are available precisely when and where they are needed. 

We maintain a global network of warehouses in strategic locations around the world with stockpiles of essential emergency relief items. This means that when an emergency is declared anywhere, we are ready to deliver life-saving items like tents and blankets by road, sea and air for up to 1 million people. We also preposition and manage regional and local stocks to scale up humanitarian assistance when needed.

In addition to our emergency response efforts, UNHCR’s supply chain management work also ensures the necessary goods and services are available to support our ongoing operations and programme needs.


Strategically plan the procurement, transport, inventory management and distribution of goods and services ensuring efficiency and effectiveness at every stage.


Ensure efficient and transparent procurement and contracting, supported by effective oversight.


Maintain agile and reliable global logistics infrastructure to optimize the delivery of goods and services, ensuring supplies reach even the most remote locations.

Emergency response

Assist an ever-growing number of people in emergency situations every year by quickly mobilizing goods, services, experts and financial resources.

Building a resilient and agile supply chain 

UNHCR aims to create and maintain an effective global supply chain and to be a trusted partner, delivering quality goods and services that meet the needs of people forced to flee. 

The fragility of the international supply context in recent years has placed tremendous pressure on our supply operations. Meanwhile, the upward trajectory of global forced displacement has heightened the demand for humanitarian assistance. By the end of 2023, 117.3 million people were forcibly displaced. 

UNHCR is working to enhance our capabilities to deliver high-quality goods and services more efficiently across the organization and to those forced to flee, as outlined in our Supply Strategy 2024-2030. We aim to ensure our supply chain is robust, agile, resilient, and capable of withstanding emerging challenges by providing simple, swift and sustainable service delivery.  

UNHCR is also committed to reducing our climate impact from the procurement, delivery and usage of goods by 30 per cent by 2030. This includes updating the specifications of high CO2-emitting items, implementing cleaner waste management practices, and adopting circular solutions. Likewise, we are working to expand our use of local suppliers. This will reduce transportation costs, lead times and carbon emissions, while also supporting emerging economies. 

To learn more about UNHCR’s supply chain management, please see our Supply Strategy 2024-2030.