DHL extends relief efforts in Pakistan
DHL Disaster Response Team to remain on site for an additional two weeksBonn/Islamabad, 09/15/2010, 03:00 PM CEST
The Disaster Response Team will continue to organize relief good deployment at Islamabad Airport for two more weeks.
Following a request by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Pakistan, the United Nations have recommended to extend the deployment of the Disaster Response Team in Pakistan for an additional two weeks. In the wake of a continuing difficult situation caused by nationwide flooding, Pakistan is still dependent on international assistance and efficient logistics support at the airport in Islamabad.
With the extended deployment period, the DRT will spend a total of five weeks on site. Its members will continue to ensure fast, efficient unloading of incoming relief goods at the airport in Islamabad as well as the clear sorting of these supplies and palletising for further distribution.
Keeping our DRT on the ground
On the extension of the deployment, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Post DHL Frank Appel said: "To date, our employees have handled 2,632 tons of relief supplies and assembled 2,500 special emergency packs for remote areas. Due to the nature of the disaster, the situation in Pakistan is improving only slowly which is why we decided to keep our Disaster Response Team on the ground."
The Disaster Response Team (DRT) has been working in the military section of the Islamabad airport since August 26. To date, the DHL employees have unloaded and relief supplies like food, water, tents, tarpaulins, cloth and hygienic articles and prepared them for further transport into the country. A special challenge is the handling of unsolicited goods that often arrive damaged and that need to be sorted and repacked before further transport. In the first three weeks, the on-site team was staffed by 20 volunteers who rotated out on a weekly basis.
Over the course of the next two weeks, some 8-10 new colleagues from the DHL DRT pool of 200 volunteers will be sent to strengthen the relief efforts. The DRT's work is based on an agreement with the Pakistani NDMA and a long-standing partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Specially trained DHL employees
The DRT has set up a temporary warehouse to handle relief goods.
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). DHL's global network consists of there teams each of which is 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 200 specially trained DHL employees, who - in addition to their normal job - have volunteered to take part in the pro-bono humanitarian efforts.
Each 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.
Disaster Response Teams
When disaster strikes, immediate help can save thousands of lives.