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  February 4th, 2016 | Written by

Deutsche Post DHL Group and United Nations Celebrate 10 Years of Public-Private Partnership

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  • Deutsche Post/UN joint activities aim to enhance the capacity of airports to prepare for emergency response.
  • The Deutsche Post/UN program has trained 600 people in 30 airports and 15 countries on disaster preparedness.
  • Over ten years, Deutsche Post DHL Disaster Response Teams deployed over 30 times to disaster areas worldwide.

Deutsche Post DHL Group and the United Nations recently celebrated a decade of successfully partnering in the areas of disaster preparedness and response. The partnership aims to prepare airports and personnel on disaster preparedness and provides support to better manage logistics at airports in disaster hit areas.

The initial memorandum of understanding was signed in December 2005 in New York.

Airport preparedness is a key element of disaster preparedness mechanisms and plans. As airports are the main access point to receive international as well as national aid when a disaster strikes, they can also become a critical bottleneck due to damages to infrastructure and a lack of capacity. In order to address these challenges, Deutsche Post DHL Group and UNDP jointly developed the Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) program. The major focus of GARD is to bring all relevant stakeholders involved in humanitarian actions – from cargo operators to emergency services as well as security, customs and management – together to identify potential causes of backlogs which could hamper a relief operation. The GARD workshop further aims to develop practical recommendations for contingency planning. This exercise is again conducted jointly with the national stakeholders. To date, GARD has been implemented at airports in Armenia, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey and Sri Lanka. Finally, the GARD program also offers a follow-up workshop to review the original recommendations and their implementation process. These so-called GARD plus workshops have been conducted in a number of countries including Armenia, Lebanon and Indonesia.

“We are very pleased that we are able to share our logistics expertise within the international aid community”, said Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.

“It is increasingly clear that the eradication of poverty and achievement of sustainable development goals will remain difficult if we do not address disaster risk,” noted Magdy Martinez-Soliman, director of the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Policy and Program Support. “This requires an all-of-society approach, incorporating both the public and private sector. The partnership between UNDP, Deutsche Post DHL Group and OCHA is such an approach. By drawing on the respective strengths of the agencies involved we are better able to support our partners globally in disaster preparedness.”

In 2016 the series of GARD and GARD plus workshops will continue in countries such as Honduras, Mauritius and Nepal.

Deutsche Post DHL Group has teamed with the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) to provides the UN with access to its core competence in logistics, its global network and the know-how of its employees as part of Disaster Response Teams (DRT) whose task is to handle the incoming relief supplies at an airport. The DRT network consists of over 400 trained volunteers, who can be deployed within 72 hours, ready to stay for up to three weeks. At the airport the team handles relief supplies, sorts them and finds storage options. This allows relief agencies then to get quicker access to urgently needed items such as food, shelter, medicines and water for their further transportation to the people in need.