Deutsche Post DHL Group and UNDP join hands for resilient local airports

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  • Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) Local is a follow-up initiative to GARD workshops
    conducted at international airports.
  • Airport
    authorities in Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi among the first to attend the new
    training format
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November 12, 2019 – Deutsche Post DHL Group, the leading mail and logistics
company, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nepal today rolled
out its first Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) Local workshops.

Deutsche Post DHL Group and UNDP join hands for resilient local airports

Over the next four days, nearly 40 airport
staff in Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi, two sub-metropolitan cities along the eastern
border of Nepal, will be trained to prepare their airports to handle an influx
of humanitarian aid in the event of disaster. The decision to train local
airports in Nepal is a result of lessons learnt from the 2015 earthquake. The
taxiway at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the country’s sole
international airport, had crumbled under the initial influx of aircraft
delivering aid, making it impossible for subsequent large aircraft to land. Had
there been a support network of trained local airports in the vicinity, aid
might have been able to land elsewhere for more efficient onward distribution.


DHL air network and logistics experts have been
running GARD workshops since 2009, having trained more than 50 international
airports in over 25 countries. “The team realized that there was demand from
local airports to get trained as well,” said Kim Melville, Lead GARD Trainer,
GoHelp Program, Deutsche Post DHL Group. This new GARD Local format has been
designed as a tailor-made service for smaller local airports that currently do
not have the required expertise, and that may be activated as mini-hubs for the
inflow and outflow of humanitarian aid in times of disaster. “Additionally, the
aim of this new format is to develop a preparedness assessment model that can
then be rolled out to other domestic airports by the civil aviation authorities
who have themselves been trained,” continued Melville.


Over the next four days, the GARD Local
workshops will seek to train local civil aviation authorities from key domestic
airports to assess cargo and air operations, with new sections on risks and
onward logistics in contrast to the original GARD modules.


“The Government of Nepal is eager to prepare
all concerned personnel to respond to disasters in a timely manner. UNDP, as a
long-time partner, is pleased to support the government’s efforts in achieving
that goal. This initiative of making airports more resilient is part of our
joint collaboration,” said Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé, Resident
Representative of UNDP Nepal. Medagangoda-Labé also stated that the GARD
workshop is crucial to disaster-prone countries like Nepal as it will help in
immediate response actions during disasters. “We have completed a workshop
for Tribhuvan International Airport and we aspire to extend this training to
all 28 operational domestic airports. Airport service is crucial during
emergencies and this type of workshop will help prepare for future humanitarian
efforts,” she added.

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The disaster response initiative falls under
DPDHL Group’s GoHelp initiative, a corporate responsibility program focusing on
disaster management. In addition to the GARD initiative, GoHelp also comprises a
Disaster Response Team (DRT). Following the major earthquake that hit Nepal in
2015, over 33 Asia Pacific DRT volunteers were deployed to support humanitarian
logistics operations at Tribhuvan International Airport. Four teams in rotation
spent over 30 days relieving the congested tarmac area of humanitarian
supplies, delivering cargo to airside warehouses, and transporting relief goods
to NGOs’ warehouses. During its time there, the DRT processed 80 —
120 tonnes of relief goods each day. 

Interested to learn more
about the DRT behind-the-scenes? Find out about their training in the
, the teams in action in Mozambique
and their relief efforts in the aftermath of the Palu earthquake on
our content hub, Logistics of Things.


You can find the press
release for download as well as further information on or read more about our CR activities
in our latest CR

About Deutsche Post DHL Group

Deutsche Post DHL Group is the world’s
leading mail and logistics company. The Group connects people and markets and
is an enabler of global trade. It aspires to be the first choice for customers,
employees and investors worldwide. The Group contributes to the world through
responsible business practices, corporate citizenship and environmental
activities. By the year 2050, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to achieve zero
emissions logistics.

Deutsche Post DHL Group is
home to two strong brands: Deutsche Post is Europe’s leading postal service
provider. DHL offers a comprehensive range of international express, freight
transport, and supply chain management services, as well as e-commerce
logistics solutions. Deutsche Post DHL Group employs approximately 550,000
people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide.

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The Group generated
revenues of more than 61 billion Euros in 2018.

Die Post für Deutschland. The logistics company for the

About UNDP Nepal

UNDP Nepal works with the
people and Government of Nepal, and other development partners to pursue
equitable and sustainable human development goals through eradication of
poverty, increase in livelihood opportunities, improvement in community
resilience against conflict, disasters and impact of climate change, while
laying down strong foundations for a society based on rule of law with an
inclusive and participatory democracy.

About the GARD Program

In 2009, GARD was developed
by Deutsche Post DHL Group in cooperation with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) with the aim of preparing airports in disaster-prone areas to
handle the surge of incoming relief goods after a natural disaster occurs. It
also enables the various organizations and aid agencies to better understand
the processes at the airport in the aftermath of a disaster, which will help
facilitate relief efforts and enhance overall coordination.


To date, GARD workshops
have been held at over 50 airports in Armenia, Bangladesh, Bosnia &
Herzegovina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador,
Honduras, India, Iraque, Iran, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon,
Macedonia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, the
Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Turkey.


GARD trainers and training
materials are provided free-of-charge by Deutsche Post DHL Group while UNDP
leads the project implementation and facilitates the coordination with the
national authorities and governmental ministries.


GARD is an integral part of
Deutsche Post DHL Group’s GoHelp program in which the Group pools all of its
activities related to disaster preparedness and management. As a form of crisis
prevention, GARD workshops are used to prepare airports for coping with
potential natural disasters. Should a disaster strike, Disaster Response Teams
(DRTs) provide emergency aid and ensure that relief supplies can be accepted in
a coordinated manner and passed on to the correct aid organizations.

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Deutsche Post DHL Group and UNDP join hands for resilient local airports

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