Friday, August 27, 2010

Another Express Freight Company Assists With Disaster Relief

DHL Start Supply Chain into Pakistan Flood Area
Shipping News Feature

PAKISTAN - After yesterday’s report of how FedEx were still assisting with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a full five years on from the disastrous flooding of New Orleans, comes news of yet another logistics company moving in to assist victims of the recent inundation of the country by the worst floods in memory.

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. DHL have sent a team to start the set up of 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. After the despatch l of the initial team to Islamabad on the 25th August 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.

Chris Weeks, Head of Humanitarian Affairs commented:

"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.

Following an agreement with UN departments in 2005 DHL maintain three Disaster Management Teams of around 240 employees who have volunteered to take part in the pro-bono humanitarian efforts. The teams 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.

Any readers wishing to donate directly to the World Food Programme Pakistan Disaster Appeal can do so HERE.