The Logistics Support System (LSS/SUMA) was called on to manage humanitarian assistance in several emergencies, beginning with floods in Bolivia in early 2007, the earthquake in Peru, and during Hurricanes Dean and Felix.
Heavy rains between January and March impacted nine departments in Bolivia; the greatest damage occurred in Beni and Santa Cruz Departments, where 103,595 families were affected. At the request of Bolivian authorities, PAHO and FUNDESUMA set up teams to assist with supply logistics. They worked with the Ministry of Health, Prefecture, Armed Forces and Bolivian Red Cross to manage incoming supplies and medications.
A SUMA team was requested by the Peruvian government to assist in managing and documenting the humanitarian assistance distributed to earthquake victims.
The team set up in two areas of the Lima-Pisco air bridge, established by the government to facilitate transport between the capital, the affected area, and the National Civil Defense Institute headquarters. Additionally, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, the system was installed and personnel trained to register the receipt and distribution of medical supplies and medicines to Ica, Chincha, and Pisco.
Within hours of the impact of Hurricane Felix on 4 September in Nicaragua, the government approved the use of LSS/SUMA to manage humanitarian supplies destined for the North Atlantic Autonomous Region. The operation was the responsibility of Nicaragua’s national disaster prevention and response agency (SINAPRED). PAHO, together with UNDP and several NGOs, coordinated with FUNDESUMA to mobilize an international team of experts from Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama to assist in the process. Operations were set up in the Managua airport, SINAPRED’s central warehouse, the airport in Puerto Cabezas, and two warehouses in Bilwi and one in Rosita. Additional people were trained in the use of the new software.
In all three cases, the authorities judged LSS/SUMA as a vital tool in making the process transparent both for the donors and recipients. However, the need to train and form teams before an emergency was evident once again.