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Preparedness and Stock Pre-positioning

Last updated: 21 Nov 2023


The ability to provide emergency supplies quickly and cost-effectively is often a great challenge due to the location of emergencies and access restrictions. To reduce the time taken to respond to emergencies, critical materials should be held in stock at strategic locations.

IOM Country Offices at high risk of emergencies (natural or manmade) should have a contingency plan in place in the event that response is needed. The pre-positioning of emergency stocks will save time, support business continuity, reduce delivery times and lead time, cut on transportation cost and overall contribute to timely response.

Scope and Application

Stock pre-positioning is a preparedness measure which can improve responsiveness. Pre-positioned stock enables response to immediate needs in an emergency and reduces lead time. During an emergency, country offices should refer to their respective emergency and preparedness response plan.

Types of pre-positioning include:

  • Standby agreements  established with local suppliers for emergency items that can allow quick access to basic relief items
  • Use of emergency supplies from other humanitarian organizations
  • Access to IOM Global Stocks Hub warehouses

Key Considerations

  • To enhance emergency response capacity and preparedness to emergencies, the Chief of Mission (COM)/authorized delegate should ensure higher availability of supplies by pre-positioning.
  • In establishing stock pre-positioning, the COM/Procurement Officer should consider the warehouse setup, inventory stocking and the average response time.
  • In operating costs and holding of inventory, the COM/Procurement Officer should consider collaborating with other humanitarian organizations to mobilize stocks to support emergency responses.
  • For operational efficiency, consider accessing emergency stocks from the IOM Global Stock Hubs.
  • For better management of the IOM pre-positioned stocks programme, offices should develop an operational plan to include the use of pre-positioned stocks.

Relevance to IOM’s Emergency Operations

IOM has five global warehouse locations with emergency pre-positioned stocks established in Manila, Nairobi, Panama, Gaziantep, and Dubai.

The pre-positioned stocks are intended to support the objectives of emergency operations and in the initial phases of an emergency. The pre-positioned stocks mainly include Non-Food items (NFI) supplies and other types of emergency supplies. Please contact GlobalStockSupport@iom.int for more information. 

Monitoring of the IOM Global pre-positioned stocks is done in PRISM using the inventory management module which revolves around the movement of emergency stocks in and out of the established warehouses and stocks availability.

The PRISM reports are accessible for use for offices in need of urgent pre-positioned stocks. The reports will assist offices to see where and what stocks are available from the global warehouses in case of an emergency.


For more information on Global Stocks: globalstocksupport@iom.int.

For more information on the Supply Chain Division: SCD@iom.int.

The DOE RTS in your region can also provide guidance as needed.

Key Points

  • Physical stocks should be placed in a strategic location to ensure adequate and timely response.
  • For access to basic relief items from the IOM Global Stocks, please contact GlobalStockSupport@iom.int, or your nearest local Global Stock warehouse.
  • IOM has warehouses in Manila, Philippines; Nairobi, Kenya; Panama City, Panama; Gaziantep, Turkiye; and Dubai, UAE with global stocks (Shelter materials and Non-Food Items).


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