A Humanitarian Logistics Case Study for the Intermediary Phase Accommodation Center for Refugees and Other Humanitarian Disaster Victims

  • Sofia PapadakiEmail author
  • Georgios Banias
  • Charisios Achillas
  • Dimitris Aidonis
  • Dimitris Folinas
  • Dionysis Bochtis
  • Stamatis Papangelou
Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 140)


The growing and uncontrollable stream of refugees from Middle East and North Africa has created considerable pressure to governments and societies all over Europe. To establish the theoretical framework, the concept of humanitarian logistics is briefly examined in this paper. Historical data from the nineteenth century onwards illuminates the fact that this influx is not a novelty in the European continent and the interpretation of statistical data highlights the characteristics and particularities of the current refugee wave, as well as the possible repercussions these could inflict both to hosting societies and to displaced populations. Finally, a review of European and national legislation and policies shows that measures taken so far are disjointed and that no complete but at the same time fair and humanitarian management strategy exists.

Within this context, the paper elaborates on the development of a compact accommodation center made of shipping containers, to function as one of the initial stages in adaptation before full social integration of the displaced populations. It aims at maximizing the respect for human rights and values while minimizing the impact on society and on the environment. Some of the humanitarian and ecological issues discussed are: integration of medical, educational, religious and social functions within the unit, optimal land utilization, renewable energy use, and waste management infrastructures. Creating added value for the “raw” material (shipping containers) and prolonging the unit’s life span by enabling transformation and change of use, transportation and reuse, and finally end-of-life dismantlement and recycling also lie within the scope of the project.

The overall goal is not only to address the current needs stemming from the refugee crisis, but also to develop a project versatile enough to be adapted for implementation on further social groups in need of support. The paper’s results could serve as a useful tool for governments and organizations to better plan ahead and respond fast and efficiently not only in regard to the present humanitarian emergency, but also in any possible similar major disaster situation, including the potential consequences of climate change.


Refugees Humanitarian crisis Shelter Integration 


  1. 1.
    UNHCR: Figures at a Glance. [online] (2016). Accessed 16 Nov 2016
  2. 2.
    Cozzolino, A.: Humanitarian logistics – cross-sector cooperation in disaster relief management. [online] (2012). Accessed 3 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Robinson, V.: The changing nature and European perceptions of Europe’s refugee problem. Geoforum. [online] 26(4), 411–427 (1995). Accessed 5 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Lancet: Adapting to mitigation as a planetary force (editorial). The Lancet [online] 386(9998), 1013 (2015). Accessed 2 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    UNHCR: UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2014, 14th edn. [online] (2015). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  6. 6.
    Pew Research Center: 5 Facts about the Muslim population in Europe. (2016). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  7. 7.
    Parkes, R.: Asylum flows to the EU: blip or norm? [online] (2016). Accessed 31 Oct 2016
  8. 8.
    UNHCR: UNHCR Global Trends 2015. [online] (2016). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  9. 9.
    European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: Asylum and migration into the European Union in 2015. [online] (2016). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  10. 10.
    Vimont, P.: Migration in Europe: bridging the solidarity gap [online]. (2016). Accessed 5 Nov 2016
  11. 11.
    Suarez-Orozco, M.: Immigration and Migration: Cultural Concerns. In: Smelser, N., Baltes, P. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 1st edn., p. 7211. [online] (2001). Accessed 6 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Amnesty International: People on the move. [online] (2016). Accessed 2 Nov 2016
  13. 13.
    Bascom, J.: Refugees: geographical aspects. In: Smelser N., Baltes, P. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. 1st edn., 12895–12901. [online] (2001). Accessed 6 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Black, R.: Refugees and displacement. In: Kitchin, R., Thrift, N. (eds.) International Ency-clopedia of human geography. 1st edn. vol. 9, pp. 125–129 [online] (2009). Accessed 6 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    International Organization for Migration: International Organization for Migration. [online] (2016). Accessed 8 Nov 2016
  16. 16.
    Thomas, A., Kopczak, L.: From logistics to supply chain management: the path forward in the humanitarian sector. [online] (2005). Accessed 3 Nov 2016
  17. 17.
    Ergun, Ö., Keskinocak, P., Swann, J., Heier Stamm, J., Villareal, M.: Relief operations: how to improve humanitarian logistics. [online] (2010). Accessed 3 Nov 2016
  18. 18.
    Forced Migration Review: Delivering the goods: rethinking humanitarian logistics. [online] (2003). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  19. 19.
    Attina, F.: Europe faces the Immigration Crisis. Perceptions and Scenarios. [online] (2015). Accessed 5 Nov 2016
  20. 20.
    Achilli, L.: Tariq al-Euroba: displacement trends of Syrian asylum seekers to the EU. [online] (2016). Accessed 7 Nov 2016
  21. 21.
    Heisbourg, F.: The strategic implications of the Syrian refugee crisis. [online] (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  22. 22.
    Frontex: Risk analysis for 2016. (2016). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  23. 23.
    Angeli, D., Triandafyllidou, A.: Europe. In: Migrant smuggling data and research: A global review of the emerging evidence base - International Organization for Migration. [online] (2016). Accessed 7 Nov 2016
  24. 24.
    Fargues, P., Bonfanti, S.: When the best option is a leaky boat: why migrants risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean and what Europe is doing about it. [online] (2014). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  25. 25.
    Europol: Migrant smuggling in the EU. [online] (2016). Accessed 8 Nov 2016
  26. 26.
    Pew Research Center: The future of the global Muslim population - Region: Europe. [online] (2011). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  27. 27.
    USA Central Intelligence Agency: The World Factbook. [online] (2016). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  28. 28.
    Hvenmark-Nilsson, C.: The European refugee crisis: the need for long-term policies and lessons from the Nordic Region. [online] Center for Strategic and International Studies. (2015). Accessed 2 Nov 2016
  29. 29.
    International Monetary Fund: The refugee surge in Europe: economic challenges. Staff discussion notes. [online] (2016). Accessed 2 Nov 2016
  30. 30.
    The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration: Immigration Countries: Germany in an International Comparison. 2015 Annual Report. [online] (2016). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  31. 31.
    Strabac, Z., Listhaug, O.: Anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe: a multilevel analysis of survey data from 30 countries. Soc. Sci. Res. [online] 37(1), 268–286 (2008). Accessed 3 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    European Commission: Refugee crisis in Europe. Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. [online] (2016). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  33. 33.
    Klinke, I. The geopolitics of European (dis)union. Polit. Geogr. [online] 37, 1–4. (2013). Accessed 6 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kuusisto-Arponen, A., Gilmartin, M.: The politics of migration. Polit. Geogr. [online] 48, 143–145. (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Behm, A.: Why the refugee crisis is a strategic issue. [online] (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  36. 36.
    UNHCR: Emergency Handbook. [online] (2016). Accessed 8 Nov 2016
  37. 37.
    Tsourdi, E., De Bruycker, P.: EU asylum policy : in search of solidarity and access to protection. [online] (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  38. 38.
    UNHCR: UNHCR Global Appeal 2016–2017 – Europe regional summary. [online] (2015). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  39. 39.
    European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration. [online] (2014). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  40. 40.
    Clayton, J.: UNHCR chief issues key guidelines for dealing with Europe’s refugee crisis. [online] 3b6/unhcr-chief-issues-key-guidelines-dealing-europes-refugee-crisis.html (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  41. 41.
    European Commission: Humanitarian aid report. Special Eurobarometer 434. [online] (2015). Accessed 11 Nov 2016
  42. 42.
    Medecins Sans Frontiers: Public Health Engineering in Precarious Situations. 2nd edn. [online] (2010). Accessed 7 Nov 2016
  43. 43.
    Haddow, G., Bullock, J., Coppola, D.: International disaster management. In: Introduction to Emergency Management, 5th edn., pp. 263–304 [online] (2014). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  44. 44.
    USA Department of Air Force: Refugee Camp Planning and Construction Handbook. Air Force Handbook 10–222, vol. 22. [online] (2000). Accessed 8 Nov 2016
  45. 45.
    Vaughan-Williams, N.: “We are not animals!” Humanitarian border security and zoopolitical spaces in EUrope. Polit. Geogr. [online] 45, 1–10. (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  46. 46.
    Pierini, M., Hackenbroich, J.: A bolder EU strategy for Syrian refugees. [online] Carnegie Europe. (2015). Accessed 6 Nov 2016
  47. 47.
    Sarkis, J.: Models for compassionate operations. Int. J. Prod. Econ. [online]. 139(2), 359–365. (2012). Accessed 5 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Papadaki, S.: Refugees: The Humanitarian Logistics of a crisis situation. Master Dissertation Thesis, MSc in Environmental Management and Sustainability, School of Economics, Business Administration & Legal Studies, International Hellenic University, February 2017 (2017)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Icon Architecture: © “Xenios Zeus” refugee accommodation project. Planning and design. All rights reserved (2015)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Lehne, J., Blythe, W., Lahn, G., Bazilian, M., Graftham, O.: Energy services for refugees and displaced people. Energy Strat. Rev. [online]. 13–14, 134–146 (2016). Accessed 18 Nov 2016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Operational Programme Environment and Sustainable Development. Guide for the planning, organization and operation of green spots. [online] (2015). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  52. 52.
    European Union Joint Research Centre: Life cycle indicators for resources, products and waste: Waste management. Institute for Environment and Sustainability. [online] (2012). Accessed 14 Nov 2016
  53. 53.
    Mason, E.: Resolving refugee problems: an introduction to the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner’s Programme and its documentation. J. Gov. Inf. [online] 27(1), 1–11 (2000). Accessed 18 Nov 2016MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    United Nations: In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. Secretary-General’s Report. A/70/59 [online] (2016). Accessed 19 Nov 2016
  55. 55.
    European Asylum Support Office: Annual report on the situation of asylum in the EU 2015. [online] (2016). Accessed 14 Nov 2016
  56. 56.
    European Parliament Directorate-General for External Policies: Current challenges for international refugee law, with a focus on EU policies and EU co-operation with the UNHCR. [online] (2013). Accessed 11 Nov 2016

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Papadaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Georgios Banias
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charisios Achillas
    • 1
    • 3
  • Dimitris Aidonis
    • 3
  • Dimitris Folinas
    • 3
  • Dionysis Bochtis
    • 2
  • Stamatis Papangelou
    • 4
  1. 1.International Hellenic University, School of Economics, Business Administration and Legal StudiesThermiGreece
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Technology – Hellas, Institute for Bio-economy and Agri-technologyThermiGreece
  3. 3.Department of LogisticsTechnological Educational Institute of Central Macedonia, Branch of KateriniKateriniGreece
  4. 4.University of Macedonia, School of EconomicsThessalonikiGreece

Personalised recommendations