Central African Republic: a pillar of logistics for humanitarian aid

For almost 10 years, Première Urgence Internationale has been an indispensable pillar of logistics in the Central African Republic (CAR), combining innovative infrastructures for humanitarian action with capacity building to ensure the long-term integration and participation of local players in the country’s logistics coordination mechanisms.

Medical Logistics Platform, Bangui, December 2023 © Première Urgence Internationale

In Bangui, Première Urgence Internationale manages two logistics platforms, Logistique (PL) and Logistique Médicale (PLM). These shared storage platforms, the only ones of their kind in the Central African Republic (CAR), aim to improve the logistical capacity of humanitarian operations in the country. They also aim to reduce costs and carbon footprints by pooling storage, while guaranteeing a secure storage location.

Since 2023, our logistics services have been used by some thirty partners working in the humanitarian sector, confirming our status as a logistics pillar in the country.

Humanitarian cooperation through shared storage


Logistics platform, Bangui, December 2023 © Première Urgence Internationale

The complex crisis in CAR, marked by a volatile security situation and recurrent shocks in certain regions, is exacerbating the   needs of populations, in a country where basic services are not accessible to all. The CAR’s chronic crises and structural dysfunctions are increasing the pressure on limited services and resources, and multiplying the logistical challenges for humanitarian organizations. The rainy season further exacerbates these challenges, making some roads impassable to vehicles weighing over fifteen tonnes – the most commonly used during emergency operations – and destinations such as Ndélé and Birao chronically inaccessible.

Humanitarians frequently face additional logistical constraints such as stock-outs, local sourcing difficulties, border blockages and complex customs procedures. It is therefore crucial to obtain more storage space of the right standard.

Unique and innovative logistics services

Première Urgence Internationale has established itself as a key player in CAR, initially with the establishment in 2014 of the Logistics Platform, marking the start of a significant contribution to the logistical coordination of humanitarian aid in the country. Located in Bangui, this platform comprises a shared, ambient-temperature storage area designed to meet the needs of 33 international and local NGO partners, as well as UN agencies.

Première Urgence Internationale extended its services in 2020, with the establishment of a second storage platform in Bangui, shared with ten partner NGOs, this time temperature-controlled, dedicated to medical inputs. The Plateforme Logistique Médicale also offers low-temperature storage facilities, notably for vaccines, reinforcing the storage capacity for inputs essential to humanitarian interventions in the health sector.

Cold chain zone of the Plateforme Logistique Médicale for vaccine storage, Bangui, December 2023 © Première Urgence Internationale

In parallel, Première Urgence Internationale has also developed a Mobile Storage Unit (USM) deployment service, which can be set up at the request of humanitarian partners in the provinces, in conjunction with the Logistics Cluster. This is a temporary storage solution facilitating the preparation of humanitarian operations or the constitution of contingency stocks in anticipation of possible emergency responses near pre-identified priority zones   .

By repackaging emergency kits containing essential household and hygiene items, Première Urgence Internationale  actively contributes to emergency preparedness and response for partners in the rapid response mechanism. This service aims to increase the responsiveness of partners by immediately supplying kits to people affected by shocks, directly from our Logistics Platform in Bangui. On average, Première Urgence Internationale is able to repack 600 kits a day, reaching around 4,200 people.

Greater inclusion in CAR’s humanitarian response

For several years, Première Urgence Internationale has been integrating national NGOs into the humanitarian response in CAR through an exchange of know-how. Première Urgence Internationale strengthens the skills of national NGOs, who bring us new perspectives and practices adapted to the Central African context. Capacity building takes the form of training courses for national – and international – humanitarian staff in Bangui and the provinces. Every year, some twenty training modules are given, notably to strengthen local logistics skills.

Nathanaël, our training manager, emphasizes the “complexity and high costs associated with finding logistics training for NGOs. Première Urgence Internationale facilitates access to training for humanitarian personnel, and our partners are grateful for this initiative.”

However, in CAR, the localization of aid remains fragile. The main obstacles identified include a lack of information, limited capacities and insufficient integration of national actors in humanitarian coordination mechanisms. The latter face a number of challenges in positioning themselves as actors in the humanitarian response, despite their skills and knowledge.

From an inclusive perspective, Première Urgence Internationale plays an active role in training women in the logistics professions. Promoting and encouraging their integration into a male-dominated sector helps to change perceptions and preconceived ideas about the place of women in the professional world, and in the logistics sector in particular.


Repackaging kits for partners at the Logistics Platform, Bangui, December 2023 © Première Urgence Internationale

For kit reconditioning, in partnership with Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion (HI), we are committed to recruiting disabled day laborers, thus guaranteeing access to a wage and facilitating the integration of people who are often marginalized. These initiatives not only help to diversify professional profiles within the sector, but also create a more inclusive and equitable working environment.

Loyique has been in charge of the Medical Logistics Platform since 2019. He explains that “the Logistics Platform and the Medical Logistics Platform are crucial to meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, due to their ability to solve storage issues for humanitarian actors in CAR. It’s a personal satisfaction to know that my commitment is having a concrete impact in the field.”

The team in charge of managing the Plateforme Logistique Médicale, Bangui, December 2023 © Première Urgence Internationale

Première Urgence Internationale‘s infrastructure and logistical activities in CAR are supported by the daily commitment of 31 employees and 164 day laborers, and thanks to the support of the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.


Find out more about our activities in the CAR.

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