Ebola puts humanitarian supply chains to the test

Pallets of medical supplies for urgent airlift to Guinea, one of the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The Ebola crisis put to test even the most robust relief supply chains. Photo by: UNICEF / ECHO / CC BY-ND

In humanitarian emergencies, logistics and supply chain management ensure quick and appropriate delivery of supplies to populations in need — often making the difference between life and death.

This is even more true in the context of the Ebola epidemic currently ravaging Western Africa, an extremely time-pressed emergency where the slightest gap or delay in the logistics response can result in an instant increase in suffering and life loss.