DELSA: Humanitarian Logistics Warehouse of ASEAN


Entering a restricted area of military air force base, there is a depot or logistics warehouse where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) stores humanitarian relief. Big shelves are placed in the warehouse with various kinds of relief items. ASEAN logo is plugged in one of the selves where the items are ready to be delivered at any time. The warehouse that is located in Subang, Malaysia is able to maximize for delivery process within five until eight hours to all parts in ASEAN region. ASEAN Coordinator Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) with support from the Government of Japan has built the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN or DELSA project for emergency relief in ASEAN region.

DELSA that is funded by Japan-ASEAN Integrated Fund (JAIF) aims to support rapid delivery of humanitarian relief to affected area of disaster ground. The project is the first time for ASEAN that is managed by ASEAN and operated by ASEAN under AHA Centre for ASEAN member states. Including in the project is to improve capacity such as logistics training or technical support towards AHA Centre and ASEAN member states in term of logistics during emergency period. DELSA launched in December 2012 has supported some humanitarian missions in ASEAN region such as emergency response in Typhoon Haiyan and Myanmar Flood in some times ago. Physically, the ASEAN logistics warehouse is in a warehouse compound managed by the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD).

Different kinds of relief items belongs to ASEAN are placed at the warehouse, such as mobile storage unit (MSU), generator, family tent, some tools for shelter, family kits, and command tent. The items are well-placed and wrapped with high logistics management standard. Under UNHRD management, humanitarian relief is able to be loaded to cargo plane that is ready for deployment.

In term of building capacity, AHA Centre has conducted three times of logistics system training for AHA Centre Executive Programme (ACE Programme). The training aims to improve capacity of ASEAN ERAT to understand logistics management system and UNHRD mechanism as well logistics operation in disaster ground.


During emergency response, affected community required immediate intervention of humanitarian relief in quick period. It is a background for the Federal Government of Malaysia to support for providing space where the warehouse located. The warehouse is in strategic position due to rapid delivery of humanitarian relief to affected areas, particularly in Southeast Asian region. Besides, Malaysia has a strategic geographical position among ASEAN member states and secured towards natural disasters such as earthquake or volcano eruption.

UNHRD Depot in Subang is in 5.000 m square that is divided into two main depots. Around 4.000 m square of the depot is used for warehousing dried items with capacity up to 2.300 pallets, whereas another depot is the warehouse with special refrigerated rooms.

The Depot in Subang is the fifth depot of the six depots organized by the United Nations since 2010. The UNHRD Depots in Subang has some office facilities besides the warehouse, is administrative office, training rooms, containers, equipment storage and loading vehicles. The special facility in the warehouse that is close to military air force base. Delivery is able to use whether commercial or military planes for logistics deployment. Because of the specific facility, delivery can be conducted within 24 until 48 hours after receiving delivery order.

UNHRD is a depot network located in strategic spot and able to provide, storage and deliver humanitarian relief. By establishing the depot as an effort to focus preparedness and emergency response as well provides facilities towards humanitarian logistics accommodation from 68 partners such as the other United Nations agencies, governments, and non-governmental organizations and Red Cross community. These organizations are users that are able to borrow the stock logistics provided for the use of urgent or collaborate in the delivery of humanitarian relief.

Meanwhile, a mandate of UNHRD is to support affected community in disaster ground or in complex emergency in a state. UNHRD offers facilities to service loading, storage, and inspection and logistics management in the warehouse. Cost is only charged for partners that need for procurement, delivery to targeted area or packaging that will storage in the warehouse.

UNHRD Depot is managed under the United Nations World Food Programme. The six depots are located in Panama City (Panama), Las Palmas (Spain), Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (United Arab Emirate), and Subang (Malaysia). Consideration of the sixth depot location is efficiency and effectiveness in reaching the disaster-affected areas in the worldwide within 8 hours.


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