Congress in Turkey discusses logistics in disasters and aid

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The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) hosted local and international officials and experts at the International Disaster and Humanitarian Aid Logistics Congress, held both online and in-person, in Istanbul Wednesday. The three-day event focuses on the “New Normal and Innovative Approaches” in aid logistics, at a time of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a keynote speech at the congress, Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık said innovative logistics solutions were needed across the world for the delivery of aid, especially in a time of natural disasters and climate change. “Humanitarian assistance is vital for remote locations in need, for landlocked places, small island countries to conflict zones, and without innovative solutions, deliveries are not sustainable,” he said. He outlined that science and data would guide them to that extent. “Big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are now essential for use in this sector,” he added.

“Robotics, drone technologies, digital transformation, blockchain are components of a fast, agile, green humanitarian logistics process,” Kınık said.

In a video message to the event, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) Director Yunus Sezer said their agency has been working on a nationwide disaster logistics plan since 2013 and designated 15 areas for effective delivery of aid and materials needed for disaster response across Turkey. “Each area is designated based on a calculation of a series of parameters, from exposure to disasters, their frequency, the average annual rate of damage from disasters, transportation and population. Our engineers developed a world-first model in this field and a software program for calculations. We built 27 logistics warehouses across Turkey by employing the data we collected,” he said.

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