The ambivalent role of governments in humanitarian supply chains

Nathan Kunz, Gerald Reiner

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings


Humanitarian supply chains aim to deliver food and medicines to victims of natural or man-made disasters. Through a multiple case study research among four Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), we analyze the impact of import barriers imposed by governments on humanitarian supply chains. We find that, in the short term, import barriers have negative impacts on the performance of humanitarian logistics operations, and in the end, on beneficiaries, because they can create important delays and additional costs. However, we also find that in the long term, these barriers can have positive effects on the sustainability of humanitarian aid and the country’s economy, as they encourage NGOs to increase their local sourcing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th International Working Seminar on Production Economics
Editors 17th International Working Seminar on Production Economics, Ed. Robert Grubbström, Hans Hinterhuber
Place of PublicationInnsbruck
Pages1 - 10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102009 Computer simulation
  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502012 Industrial management
  • 211
  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502032 Quality management

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