DHL delivers help to earthquake victims in Peru
Expert volunteers provide logistics support at Pisco Air Force BasePisco, 08/21/2007, 11:30 AM CEST
DHL in 2005 entered into a humanitarian partnership with OCHA, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, to improve disaster response. Deutsche Post World Net Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Klaus Zumwinkel: "This is part of our corporate social responsibility program.''
The DRT Americas, based in South Florida, and DRT Asia Pacific, based in Singapore, were both set up last year. A third DRT for the region Middle East and Africa is planned for this year so that DHL will be able to offer its humanitarian support worldwide. The DRTs, whose services are provided free of charge, each draw on a pool of about 80 DHL employees. Up to 15 DHL expert volunteers are on the scene at any one time. "Sheer manpower and goodwill are making up for the lack of cargo handling equipment," said Chris Weeks, Director of Humanitarian Affairs at DHL, who is on the scene. "The DRT is busy reorganizing the two temporary warehouses at Pisco Air Force Base so that more goods can be stored under cover and shipped out more quickly."
Because the main highway between Lima and the affected region was heavily damaged, most relief supplies are being flown directly to Pisco. Each day, 10 to 20 planes loaded with tents, blankets, medicines, food, drinking water and other supplies land at the air force base. In addition to the work at the airport, the DRT Americas and local officials are considering the possibility of dropping relief supplies by helicopter in outlying areas that have not yet received any help. DHL Express USA in South Florida is also urging people to donate supplies that can be shipped to the victims in Peru.
Officials say more than 500 people were killed and over 1,500 injured in the devastating quake that struck the South American country. An estimated 200,000 people are thought to be homeless.