Skip to content

Book of Humanitarian Supply Management

Humanitarian Supply Management And Logistics
in the Health Sector

Emergencies and disasters are harsh testing grounds for the logistical and organizational capacity of the affected countries. The challenge is felt with special intensity in the health sector, where deficiencies in supply management can have deadly consequences.

The management of supplies, whether from the local market or from an external source, is, in most cases, a complex logistical problem that should not be left to improvised decision making. The acquisition, storage, mobilization, and distribution of supplies to the victims require a minimum framework of organization that permits efficient handling and better use of the resources.

This new book provides guidelines to handle this process. As a practical guide, it points out that countries and organizations should incorporate the topic of logistics into their planning and preparedness for disasters. It also underlines that each step in the supply chain should be seen as a critical and interrelated link in the chain

Published jointly by PAHO and WHO, this book is the result of many years of practical experience (especially thanks to the use of SUMA methodology). The techniques and pro-cedures that it proposes are multisectorial in nature and can be used in any type of emergency operation.

This book can be ordered from PAHO's Emergency Preparedness Program (, or can be downloaded, by chapters, as PDF files. You need to have installed Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. It can be obtained free of charge from the Adobe Website.

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.