The procurement unit needs to assess which sources (local, national and international) can deliver the right quantity and quality of product the most quickly. As part of the EPP process, the CO may have pre-identified suppliers. Check the EPP first.
The first principle should be to source all commodities locally and in-country, as close to the field as possible to reduce transport time and cost. However, this is often not feasible in emergency contexts due to limited availability or poor quality. Sometimes a combination of sources will be required to achieve the right quantity, quality and speed of delivery.
Note that many CO standard non-emergency procurement policies require procurements over a certain value to be completed by the head office of the CO. Decentralising procurement to sub-offices by increasing their authorisation levels can make the procurement faster if goods are available in sub-office locations (see section 3).
Often, the materials required will not be available locally or nationally in the quantities required. This is particularly common for relief items such as tarpaulins, tents and blankets. In these cases, it is necessary to identify international vendors and/or manufacturers of these supplies.
Procurement restrictions imposed by the donor may require the products to be purchased from the donor country. In this case, the CO would require assistance from the international member in that particular country to help identify sources of supply, and establish links between the CO and the vendor in the donor country.
If international procurement is going to be undertaken, ensure that the CO is aware of all import procedures and costs before proceeding with orders (see section 8). Contact CARE USA Procurement for assistance.
When identifying international sources, check the following information:
- details of pre-positioned items available at a CARE International level
- information and contact details of known international suppliers of humanitarian relief items
- details of vendors who have signed pre-supply agreements with the CO or CARE Members
- check with other NGOs to find out who they using as their emergency suppliers.