South Asia earthquake response - Update
DHL delivers humanitarian relief to people and communitiesBonn, 10/21/2005, 11:30 AM CEST
As a leading logistics provider, DHL has been doing its part to contribute to the international relief efforts to deliver aid supplies to people and communities affected by the South Asia earthquake. DHL is actively working in Pakistan and India to help alleviate suffering. DHL's efforts are focused on Pakistan, the country which was hardest hit by the earthquake.
DHL's primary contribution to the relief efforts is its participation in the Dubai-based Airport Emergency Team (AET) - an initiative of the World Economic Forum's Disaster Resource Network - which was invited to operate at Chaklala Air Base, Islamabad by the Government of Pakistan. The Dubai-based AET was also deployed to Colombo Airport, Sri Lanka, after the tsunami struck the country in 2004.
DHL is using its expertise in logistics to ensure that incoming international relief supplies brought in on chartered flights are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible thereby keeping the airport open for additional relief flights. The goal is to avoid bottlenecks which could delay emergency relief supplies reaching people. Prior to the set up of the AET, airports would often become so overwhelmed with incoming relief supplies that they would be forced to close. This was the case with the airport at Bam, Iran, following the December 2003 earthquake there.
The Dubai-based AET is made up of employees from DHL, Aramex (express and logistics provider based in the Middle East), Dnata (provider of air travel services in the Middle East), Emirates airline and other companies. On the DHL side, the team is headed by Chris Weeks. DHL Pakistan employees are supporting the AET. The team is also being supported by soldiers and airmen from the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force.
The AET has been working around-the-clock at Chaklala Air Base since 12 October 2005. Its main duties include:
- Offloading international relief supplies from aircraft pallets onto wooden pallets for use in the warehouse.
- Sorting and warehousing relief supplies.
- Maintaining an inventory of all goods received.
- Loading relief goods onto trucks for distribution to affected areas.
With winter fast approaching, the millions of people who have been left homeless by the earthquake are in desperate need of shelter, blankets, food and bottled water. The AET is currently handling relief supplies flown in by up to 10 international relief flights each day. After being sorted and inventoried, the goods are then loaded by the team on up to 50 trucks a day which transport the relief supplies to affected communities. The AET is likely to operate at Chaklala Air Base for a total of 2 to 3 weeks after which the operation will be handed over to the local authorities.
DHL is also supporting the relief efforts in other ways including:
- DHL Pakistan has rented trucks at their expense to assist with the task of distributing relief supplies to the affected areas.
- The DHL Asia Pacific Regional Head Office is working with its customers and aid agencies to collect and transport tents, blankets and sleeping bags to Pakistan.
- DHL UK has contacted its existing humanitarian aid partners, the British Red Cross and Merlin, as well as the Disaster Emergency Committee - a coalition of UK emergency humanitarian aid agencies - to consider requests they may have for delivering relief supplies to Pakistan. DHL UK is also processing requests for in-kind shipments from UK-registered charities and other recognized aid groups as they are received.
- DHL Middle East has paid for an aircraft with relief supplies to be sent to Pakistan and is cooperating with the Red Crescent.
We have put together some advice on how individuals can support the relief efforts. We trust you find them useful.