Logistics planning of cash transfer to Syrian refugees in Turkey

This paper addresses a humanitarian logistics problem connected with the Syrian refugee crisis. The ongoing conflict in Syria has caused displacement of millions of people. Cash-based interventions play an important role in aiding people in the post-crisis period to enhance their well-being in the medium and longer term. The paper presents a study on how to design a network of administrative facilities to support the roll-out of cash-based interventions. The resulting multi-level network consists of a central registration facility, local temporary facilities, mobile facilities and vehicles for door-to-door visits. The goal is to reach the maximum number of eligible beneficiaries within a specified time period while minimizing logistics costs, subject to a limit on total security risk exposure. A mixed integer programming model is formulated to optimize the inter-related facility location and routing decisions under multiple objectives. The authors develop a hierarchical multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm to obtain efficient solutions. An application of the model and the solution algorithm to real data from a region in the southeast of Turkey is presented, with associated managerial insights.