Skip to main content

Spain takes over from Italy Chairmanship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD

ROME – In a ceremony held today at the annual session of the Executive Board of the World Food Programme, the Italian Government handed over the chairmanship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD to the Spanish Government. Also promoted by the Government of Panama, the event was the opportunity to celebrate the 18th anniversary of UNHRD, which was first established in Brindisi, Italy in June 2000.

The UN Humanitarian Response Depot network is one of the shared services that WFP offers to other UN agencies, NGOs and governments institutions for emergency preparedness and response. In his remarks, the WFP Executive Director David Beasley thanked the Group of Friends of UNHRD for their unwavering support. “The support of the UNHRD network is vital to our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies around the world. WFP and our humanitarian partners are immensely appreciative of the practical support and friendship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD”, said David Beasley. 

Since inception, UNHRD has continuously strengthened new partnerships to improve preparedness and coordinate response efforts to deliver to people in need and currently has 86 humanitarian partners. 

Launched in 2015 by the Italian Government, the Group of Friends of UNHRD brings together donors, partners and other actors who aim to raise awareness on the role of UNHRD in the global humanitarian architecture and who recognize the need to invest in emergency preparedness and response to ensure a sustainable UNHRD Network. 

Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN in Rome, handed over the chairmanship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD and stressed proudly that Brindisi was able to anticipate the requirements of humanitarian interventions in a changing and even more complex international scenario. 

Taking over the chairmanship, Ambassador Jesús Manuel García Aldaz, Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN in Rome, said: “The logistic base in Las Palmas is always ready and strategically positioned to assist in any emergency, particularly in Africa. The spirit of the Agenda 2030 requires innovation and the establishment of transformative partnerships, including with the private sector and universities.”

Ms. Angelica Jacome, Permanent Representative of Panama, said: ‘Through its Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance, which will host UNHRD, the Government of Panama offers the world, the region and its partners a unique platform aimed at providing a more effective and efficient humanitarian response in order to save lives, change lives and leave no one behind’.

The UNHRD network is made of six humanitarian support hubs strategically located in Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (UAE), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Las Palmas (Spain) and Panama City, offering supply chain solutions to the humanitarian community. Representatives from the other host countries were also in attendance. 

Following the handover ceremony, an exhibit dedicated to the history and activities of UNHRD and of its innovation Lab was opened to the Executive Board members and to WFP staff and will last until the end of the week.  

                                         #                           #                            #

The United Nations World Food Programme - saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @UNHRD

For more information please contact (email address:
Lucia Fernandez, WFP/Madrid, Mob. + 34 672 068169
Emanuela Cutelli, WFP/Rome, Mob. + 39 329 26 45 326
Annette Angeletti, UNHRD/Rome, Tel.  +39 06 6513 2044, Mob. +39 346 7600610
Andrea Tornese, UNHRD/Brindisi, Mob. + 39 339 7411653
Norha Restrepo, WFP/Panama, Tel. +507 317 3936, Mob. +507 6671 5355