DHL sets up Disaster Response Team in Singapore
DRT Asia Pacific launched by Chairman of Deutsche Post World Net is first initiative arising from partnership with the UNSingapore, 04/21/2006, 11:30 AM CEST
"By setting up Disaster Response Teams, DHL is enhancing its commitment to supporting the United Nations and the international community's humanitarian missions on a long-term basis," Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel, Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Post World Net pointed out. "We have already gained extensive experience in responding to recent major natural disasters."
DHL employees were actively engaged in providing humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, as well as after Hurricane Katrina in the United States in the summer of 2005 and last year's South Asian earthquake in Pakistan. In December 2005, DHL entered into a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the area of Disaster Management. It is the aim of DHL and OCHA to establish a global network of Disaster Response Teams.
Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, is the Patron of the DRT in Singapore.
This cooperation underlines the important role that companies can play in complementing the UN's programs to benefit more people across the world," said Puji Pujiono, Regional Disaster Response Advisor for Asia, OCHA.
DHL's Disaster Response Teams will apply their professional knowledge of logistics and organize the handling, warehousing and loading of relief goods at the airport for onward transportation in an effective manner. As a result, people in need receive relief supplies quickly.
Scott Price, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: "We are committed to sharing our core competence in logistics and our manpower in order to achieve this goal. And working with all our partners, we believe that we will be better prepared in the unfortunate event of a major natural disaster in the South Asian region."
The DHL DRT Asia Pacific consists of a pool of about 80 specially trained DHL experts, who, in addition to their normal jobs at DHL, have volunteered to take part in the DRT's humanitarian work. The teams will normally be deployed for a period of up to three weeks following a major natural disaster. By that point in time, the initial surge of international charter aircraft bringing in aid supplies has normally decreased to a manageable level for the airport authorities and their local partners to handle.
Singapore was chosen as the site for the DHL DRT Asia Pacific because of its strategic location in the region and for its excellent telecommunications, transportation and logistics infrastructure. The next Disaster Response Team will be established in Miami. It will cover the Latin America and Caribbean regions. The Disaster Response Team's services are provided as an in-kind donation. In addition to the existing work in the field of Disaster Response, the strategic partnership between DHL and the UN System will also cover other areas of Disaster Management - such as Disaster Preparedness.