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Core Commitments

for Children

are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action




  • Emergency supplies are kept available in Supply Division hubs and/or suppliers’ premises, and/or at RO/CO level, including in some cases in governments’ or partners’ warehouses

  • Long-term or contractual arrangements for procurement of emergency supplies and logistics services are in place at global, regional and country levels

  • National and local capacity to segment and out-source supply chain services to the private sector is improved.

1: Preparedness


Supply and logistics preparedness measures are in place at global, regional and country levels, including prepositioning of supplies and contractual arrangements for logistics services and more commonly requested goods

  • Financial, material and human resources are deployed to support timely delivery of supplies

  • Supplies are delivered to country entry points within 72 hours for Rapid Response, and within 14 days by air or 60 days by sea for humanitarian responses

  • Supplies are distributed to partners and/or point-of-use in a timely fashion and the end-user monitoring protocols are in place

2: Timely procurement, transport and delivery of supplies


Life-saving supplies for children and communities are delivered to partners and/or point-of-use in a timely fashion

  • Local/regional sourcing is identified and prioritised

  • Sea/road shipments are prioritised for offshore procurement following the first wave of deliveries

  • In-country logistics service arrangements (customs clearance, warehousing, transport) are identified and established, including collaboration with partners

3: Sustainable procurement, supply and logistics arrangements


Sustainable procurement, supply and logistics arrangements (contracts, agreements and/or plans) are made available at the onset or deterioration of a humanitarian crisis

Key Considerations

Coordination and Partnerships

  • Develop supply and logistics strategies based on needs assessments, preparedness and response plans. Preposition essential supplies, including through partners, and strengthening of national supply chain capacity.

  • Where appropriate, establish storage and warehousing options (local, district/provincial, national), Long Term Agreements and/or contracts/partnerships for in-country storage/warehousing.

  • Ensure close collaboration between supplies and programme teams at all stages with a focus on alleviating any barriers to availability (i.e. product selection, quantification, appropriate use, end-user monitoring).

  • Liaise with national and local authorities (and with all parties to conflict in conflict-affected contexts), as well as with donors, other agencies, CSOs and private sector to maximize principled collaboration and coordinate the response with all logistics partners.

  • Contribute as an active member to the Non-Food Item Cluster and Logistics Cluster.


Quality Programming and Standards

  • Ensure the timely supply and distribution of gender-sensitive, culturally, socio-economically and environmentally appropriate essential household items to affected populations.

  • Ensure timely access to supplies through multiple formats: distribution, vouchers, cash or a combination of the above.

  • Where appropriate, consider the procurement of goods and services by partners.

  • Build capacities of national and local partners, including governments and CSOs, to ensure timely supply interventions.

  • Support partners to ensure supplies are distributed with consideration of gender sensitivities, including protection of girls and women.

  • Establish a monitoring system of the delivery and use of supplies by end-users.

  • Ensure suppliers and contractors are bound to UNICEF’s ethical principles and code of conduct, especially with regards to PSEA and child safeguarding.

  • Explore and use innovative technology to maximise effectiveness and efficiency and to ensure delivery to hard-to-reach places.


Linking Humanitarian and Development

  • Prioritise local/regional sourcing through local logistics agreements for procurement of essential supplies.

  • Promote low-carbon and environmentally sustainable procurement modalities. Prioritise suppliers who manufacture green (environmentally friendly) products, packaging and services. Apply eco-responsible procurement considerations whenever possible to minimize impact on local environment.

  • Build national capacities to source, tender, monitor and finance supply chain service providers. Strengthen national supply chains to ensure access to required medicines, equipment and supplies at point of care, based on an analysis of supply chain operational capacity as part of a sustainability and reliance strategy.

  • Strengthen the capacities of national authorities to develop, manage and run public supply chains that are robust enough to absorb the emergency shocks and stimulate faster development.

  • Invest in systems, capacities, monitoring, waste management and quality control systems of national and local authorities and CSO partner supply chains, to prevent leakage, diversion, misuse or stockout of necessary supplies throughout the supply chain.

  • UNICEF is committed to influence private sector, business and markets to benefit the most deprived children, including by:  

  • Deepening its partnerships across the private sector – leveraging their core business, products, research and development and innovation to better serve the needs of hard-to-reach children

  • Influencing global and local markets for children – breaking down market barriers that inhibit children’s access to essential supplies, and pursuing a research and development pipeline of vaccines, medicines and technologies to drive towards the achievement of the SDGs.

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