DHL supports relief efforts in Pakistan
DHL Disaster Response Team will assist to handle incoming relief goods at Islamabad airportBonn/Islamabad, 08/27/2010, 11:00 AM CEST
Following the heavy Monsoon floods that first hit the North of Pakistan, the country is now facing a similar impact on the South. As the floods sweep down from the North, thousands of Pakistanis seek refuge to escape the water and so increase the overall number of displaced people.
After a brief assessment mission, DHL deployed an initial team of 4 logistics experts of its Disaster Response Team (DRT) to Islamabad on 25th August. On basis of a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Disaster Management Authority, the team has started to set up a provisional warehouse and will help with the logistical handling of relief goods at the military part of Islamabad airport. The DRT will work free of charge and in close cooperation with the UN, in particular with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). Both, incoming goods of the World Food Programme as well as bilateral contributions from governments to Islamabad airport will be handled by the DHL Disaster Response Team on the ground.
Due to the slow onset of the disaster the Disaster Response Team is expected to stay up to three weeks on the ground. Throughout this time a total of 20 to 25 DHL employees from different business divisions is expected to help unload and pallet goods for further distribution. The teams will alternate on a weekly basis, working with 4-5 team members at a time. Frank Appel, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL - the parent company of DHL - comments on the situation: "The situation in Pakistan is very serious and we hope we can support the ongoing relief efforts with our Disaster Response teams professionally as usual. "
Millions of people affected
Chris Weeks, Head of Humanitarian Affairs added: "Millions of people are affected by the water and are in particular need for food, tents and tarpaulins. We have set up basic logistics at the airport in order to facilitate the further transport of the goods over the next couple of weeks. "The amount of people being cut off by the floods is estimated to be 800,000 by the UN, with a total of 17 million people directly affected and 1,2 million homes destroyed. The delivery of goods to those stranded in remote areas as well as to displaced people is the biggest task over the next couple of days.
In 2005, DHL entered into a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in the area of Disaster Management. DHL's global DRT network consists of three teams which are assigned to a specific geographic region covering Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and Africa. Each of these teams consists of a pool of about 80 specially trained DHL employees, who - in addition to their normal job - have volunteered to take part in the pro-bono humanitarian efforts. The DRT can be deployed to a crisis area within 72 hours and for a period of up to three weeks. By that time, the initial wave of international charter aircraft bringing in aid supplies has normally subsided to a level that is manageable by local authorities. Up to fifteen members of the team are present at any point in time during the deployment.