COVID-19 Supply Chain System

What is the COVID-19 Supply Chain System?

The global COVID-19 outbreak led to an acute shortage of essential supplies. At the request of the United Nations Secretary-General and WHO Director-General and in support of the UN Crisis Management Team, a Supply Chain Task Force was convened to oversee the establishment of the COVID-19 Supply Chain System.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, WHO has worked closely with partner agencies in the Supply Chain Task Force to provide a channel for countries to request critical healthcare supplies. In May 2020, the COVID-19 Supply Portal was launched and currently provides access to Personal Protective Equipment, Biomedical Equipment, and Diagnostics Supplies.

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How to request supplies?

In order to request supplies, a country needs to register at least one Supply Coordinator and at least one Country Partner/Requestor. Please see below additional information on the registration and request processes.

Who can request?

National authorities and all implementing partners supporting COVID-19 National Action Plan can register to request critical supplies. Please note that your country will need to register a Country Partner/Requestor to input requests and a Supply Coordinator to validate them.

Supply Coordinators

The Supply Coordinator's role includes consolidating and validating requests within a country. Supply Coordinators must be nominated by the Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator, who should in turn, inform the Control Tower

Demo video on navigating the portal as a Supply Coordinator coming soon

Country Partner / Requestor

The Country Partner / Requestor's role is to place requests in the COVID-19 Supply portal in accordance with needs. (Please note that Supply Coordinators cannot place requests.) Country Partners/Requestors can request access directly through the COVID-19 Supply Portal.

Demo video on navigating the portal as a Supply Coordinator coming soon

For additional information, please consult this FAQ or this glossary of frequently used terms. Relevant contacts can be found in the "Contacts for Support" section below.

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What supplies can be requested?

The Supply Portal currently facilitates access to approximately 50 critical items, including personal protective equipment (PPE), biomedical equipment, and diagnostics supplies. See below for links to the full catalogue and further information on product scarcity.

A full list of available products and indicative pricing is included in the Product Catalogue. The indicated pricing is calculated based on weighted average costs (WAC) and may differ from the actual price offered at the time of invoice. The catalogue is periodically updated, so please continue to check back to ensure you are consulting the latest document.

As a result of the ongoing supply chain complications caused by COVID-19, some critical supplies remain in shortage across the world. While WHO has been able to unlock a pipeline for certain products – defined within the system as non-scarce - supply remains limited for other products, defined as scarce. Scarce products, due to their low availability and high demand, may only be available in limited quantities and may require longer lead times for delivery. While we will try our best to fulfill the quantities requested, this cannot be guaranteed. The Product Catalogue will soon include an indication of whether a product is considered scarce.

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When will I be able to receive my supplies?

Due to supply availability and logistical factors, firm timelines are not available until a request is converted into a confirmed order. A general market overview, including estimated delivery timeframes, is published frequently. Once you have placed your request, you will receive weekly email notifications on the status of your request. 

Additional technical information

Before placing a request, please ensure that you are familiar with any technical requirements and/or specifications that may apply in your country or health system. Our technical teams can help provide additional guidance if you are unsure. Please take a look through our supporting materials below or reach out to our experts through the pillar contact information below.

Reagent calculator for portal: Access here

Diagnostics Allocations FAQ: Access here

Diagnostics – Technical FAQ: Access here

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Contacts for support

General support

Technical support – Help Desk: covid19-platform-support@who.int

Process support – Control Tower: COVID19-Supply-Portal@who.int

Funding support -  COVID-19 Partners Platform: https://covid-19-response.org/

Product-specific support - Pillars

Personal Protective Equipment: COVID19Enquiry-IPC@who.int

Diagnostic Supplies: COVID19Enquiry-Diagnostics@who.int

Biomedical Equipment: COVID-Med-Devices@who.int

The following catalogue lists all medical devices, including personal protective equipment, medical equipment, medical consumables, single use devices,...

This document aims to bring clarity on the process of requesting and receiving globally sourced COVID-19 critical supplies that are currently facing constrained...