COVID-19: UNHRD Malaysia to send aid to Bangladesh


MALAYSIA, together with United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) – World Food Programme (WFP), based at the Subang depot here, is preparing to send out its second humanitarian relief cargo shipment to support COVID-19 operations and humanitarian relief in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The shipment would be dispatched on May 22.

UNHRD National Logistics Officer, Sai Shangker Nair said the cargo, with an estimated value of USD 800,000, aimed to support ongoing humanitarian operations at Cox’s Bazar on behalf of the government of Bangladesh through the implementing partners of WFP and International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“This is a kick start for this year as well as we are anticipating large scale operations to support COVID-19 response throughout this year based on the request from partners,” he told reporters after a briefing session of the humanitarian mission at the UNHRD depot here, today.

Also present were Foreign Ministry deputy secretary-general (Multilateral Affairs) Datuk Nadzirah Osman and UN Resident Coordinator in Malaysia Stefan Priesner.

A total of 19 containers, among others consisting of 30 Mobile Storage Units, 12 generator sets, forklift, water tank, lighting equipment and furniture, will be shipped via sea freight. The cargo is expected to arrive at Port of Chittagong at the end of this month.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency addressing hunger worldwide, and it subsequently established the UNHRD Depots at six locations around the world to coordinate logistical requirements and rapid deployment for humanitarian assistance to countries in need.

UNHRD is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for its partners, offering procurement, free storage, transport, handling and a field team with technical field expertise where partners can request services in any region via the UNHRD centralised customer service that is available 24/7.

The first shipment in response for COVID-19 support was made via full charter (MAS Kargo aircraft) on May 2, with an estimated cargo value air freight of USD 360,000 which comprised prefab modules, ablution units and small generator sets.

Meanwhile, Nadzirah in her welcoming speech said that the Malaysian government was pleased to be able to play an important role in helping WFP and UNHRD and would continue to cooperate with the UN in ensuring execution of its efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The establishment of the UNHRD reflects the UN’s confidence in Malaysia’s capability in providing high-quality services and facilities for humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.

“It also reflects a Malaysia’s commitment towards the international community in facilitating humanitarian aid and demonstrates the country’s effectiveness in managing emergency operations,” she said.