The Nutritious Supply Chain: Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2016-044

30 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2016

See all articles by Koen Peters

Koen Peters

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

Hein Fleuren

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

Dick den Hertog

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research

Mirjana Kavelj

UN World Food Programme

Sérgio Silva

UN World Food Programme

Rui Gonçalves

UN World Food Programme

Ozlem Ergun

Northeastern University

Mallory Soldner

UPS - Data Mining and Advanced Analytics

Date Written: November 28, 2016

Abstract

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, reaching around 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year. To deal with the operational complexities inherent to its mandate, WFP has been developing tools to assist their decision makers with integrating the supply chain decisions across departments and functional areas. This paper describes a mixed integer linear programming model that simultaneously optimizes the food basket to be delivered, the sourcing plan, the routing plan, and the transfer modality of a long-term recovery operation for each month in a pre-defined time horizon. By connecting traditional supply chain elements to nutritional objectives, we made significant breakthroughs in the operational excellence of WFP's most complex operations, such as Iraq and Yemen. We show how we used optimization to reduce the operational costs in Iraq by 17%, while still supplying 98% of the nutritional targets. Additionally, we show how we are using optimization in Yemen to manage the scale-up of the existing operation from three to six million beneficiaries.

Keywords: supply chain; nutrition; MILP; humanitarian logistics; WFP

JEL Classification: C61, Q18

Suggested Citation

Peters, Koen and Fleuren, Hein and den Hertog, Dick and Kavelj, Mirjana and Silva, Sérgio and Gonçalves, Rui and Ergun, Ozlem and Soldner, Mallory, The Nutritious Supply Chain: Optimizing Humanitarian Food Aid (November 28, 2016). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2016-044. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2880438 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2880438

Koen Peters (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Hein Fleuren

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Dick Den Hertog

Tilburg University - Department of Econometrics & Operations Research ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Mirjana Kavelj

UN World Food Programme ( email )

United States

Sérgio Silva

UN World Food Programme ( email )

United States

Rui Gonçalves

UN World Food Programme ( email )

United States

Ozlem Ergun

Northeastern University ( email )

220 B RP
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Mallory Soldner

UPS - Data Mining and Advanced Analytics ( email )

Atlanta, GA
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
181
Abstract Views
903
rank
177,945
PlumX Metrics