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Environmental Impact of Humanitarian Operations

Humanitarian disaster response operations contribute to alleviating people’s suffering. Nevertheless, these operations also generate a huge environmental impact. For instance, during the first month of response to the Haiti earthquake a high capacity ship supplied Port-au-Prince with water, in bottles. Imagine the trash produced by hundreds of thousands of empty plastic bottles without having an operational trash recollection system! This project, including partners from UN Environmental Program and Unilever investigates these effects and uses existing expertise to propose more efficient and less environmentally impactful alternatives.

The objective of this project is twofold: first, to identify suitable examples of humanitarian supply chains and second, to develop approaches that would improve efficiencies of supply chain in order to reduce the environmental impact. Results will be tested in a pilot implementation project.

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