Nepal next to benefit from DHL's Disaster Preparedness Program
- Five Nepalese airports will train for case of emergency
- Joint DHL and UNDP initiative to boost logistics capabilities in vulnerable nations
DHL's logistics specialists train local staff to provide adequate disaster relief.
Nepal will be the latest beneficiary of the disaster preparedness program launched last year by Deutsche Post DHL and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The so-called "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" program (GARD) aims to prepare airports and staff in disaster prone areas to cope with the impact of a natural catastrophe and to efficiently deal with the logistics during relief efforts.
The one-week training specially focuses on a first on-site assessment, the training of local government employees and airport personnel and the development of detailed action plans for emergencies. In Nepal the training will target 5 airports: TIA (Kathmandu), Nepalganj, Biratnagar, Simara and Pokhara. Together, these airports can adequately provide disaster relief capability coverage for the whole country and its 30 million inhabitants.
Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL says: "Our DHL Disaster Response Teams have years of experience in affected areas. We know that a high level of preparedness and efficient logistics can be vital to handle the amount of incoming support from other countries after a natural disaster hit."
Isolated with a challenging mountainous terrain, relatively poor infrastructure and prone to earthquakes, floods and landslides, natural disasters are relatively common in Nepal. The importance of airports in Nepal in the event of a natural disaster is high due to its geography: on the ground transport is often difficult or impossible in mountain regions which makes the relief delivery by air extremely important.
The training will be carried out by a team of DHL airport operations experts and will include exercises on how to evaluate, prepare, manage, co-ordinate and lead a relief effort at airports as well as the development of a surge capability assessment report. The surge capacity refers to the ability of airports to cope with the sudden increase of shipments in the form of relief aid. Once trained, Nepalese "GARD" experts will be able to train more on-ground logistics staff, keep preparedness levels high and work with NGOs, government and airport authorities to co-ordinate and maintain effective crisis communication channels and capabilities. They will also be capable of leading crisis-relief-effort logistics such as handling the enormous increase in specialist personnel, equipment, food, water, medical and emergency supplies that arrive at airports as part of an international aid effort.
GARD was originally launched in 2009 and piloted successfully in Indonesia. The pilot focused on two Indonesian airports in Makassar and Palu and involved 17 trainees from airport authorities, members of airport operations and disaster management agencies on site at both airports.