DHL Disaster Response Teams now ready worldwide for relief missions
- Dedicated Disaster Response Team for Middle East/Africa launched and ready to deploy
- DHL strengthens strategic partnership with UN
Deutsche Post World Net, the world's leading logistics provider, today introduced its third DHL Disaster Response Team (DRT) at an official launch in Bahrain. The team of over 40 volunteers is capable of setting up an effective airport logistics operation in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, ensuring that relief supplies are efficiently sorted, stored and distributed. As part of the strategic partnership with the UN.Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), two teams of specially trained DHL experts were created earlier for missions in the Asia/Pacific and America/Latin America/Caribbean regions.
"Thanks to the third Disaster Response Team, which will be stationed in Dubai, the company can now provide skilled support to humanitarian relief operations around the world. A total of 200 employees are now on call 24 hours a day around the world, ready to quickly create a logistics infrastructure at airports" says Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies, Executive Vice President Corporate Public Policy and Sustainability at Deutsche Post World Net.
She adds "Our Disaster Response Teams ensure that relief goods reach victims of natural disasters quickly and without delay. As one of the world's largest employers, we view these teams as part of our social responsibility to offer local expertise and global know-how."
The Disaster Response Teams are composed of volunteers who are experts in the areas of goods handling, warehouse management, inventory and customs. "Our team for the Middle East/Africa has 13 different nationalities. Once the UN or a government contacts us, we can provide support for up to three weeks," Paul Dowling ,Customer Operations and Product Development Manager for DHL Middle East/Africa explains. Dowling is the head of the new DRT and has already been on four relief missions.
During numerous global deployments in past years, DRT teams have unloaded, warehoused, inventoried and transported relief supplies, preventing logistics bottlenecks from arising. DHL has supported relief missions that followed the earthquakes in Peru (2007), Indonesia (2006) and Pakistan (2005), Hurricane Katrina in the United States (2005) and the tsunami in southeast Asia (2004).
"Given the vast number of incoming relief supplies which arrive at airports following a natural disaster, especially in the first few days, the expertise of the DHL employees plays an extremely important role in setting up a functioning logistics operation at the airport. The provision of core skills by private companies is becoming more and more important for UN programs to expand current aid programs," Isabelle de Muyser-Boucher, Chief Logistics Support Unit OCHA stresses.
The partnership with the United Nations is a central component of Deutsche Post World Net's sustainability strategy. It has covered cooperation with OCHA and UNDP in the area of relief support since the end of 2005. The Group also supports UNICEF's global fight against infant mortality.