Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) celebrate a decade of successful Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) Program.
A trained team and a customized surge response plan are vital when a disaster strikes -that’s why DPDHL Group and the UNDP team up with airports and conduct GARD workshops. Many volunteers and partners have played an important role and prepared over 45 airports and personnel on disaster preparedness in 23 countries.
GARD is the result of experiences gained from supporting logistics at airports in the wake of disasters. For experts both at UNDP and DPDHL Group, it became increasingly clear that disaster response is more effective if airports are well prepared for these situations. “As a global logistics company we have the resources, skills and networks that can save lives after natural disasters,” explains Chris Weeks, DPDHL Director for Humanitarian Affairs. “We can show airports how to prepare for the surge of incoming response teams and relief goods.”
DPDHL Group and UNDP jointly set up multi-day workshops that bring together numerous stakeholders at airports in high-risk areas. “Those facing development challenges often lack the vision to join forces together and make the best use of individual strengths,” explains Patrick Gremillet, Partnership Advisor Disaster Risk Reduction at UNDP. “Combining our capabilities in strong partnerships harbours enormous potential to solve complex problems.”
The latest example for scaling up is the Train the Facilitator GARD workshop. Airport operations experts gather for five-day training to learn how to make their airports disaster-ready and to become national trainers for GARD workshops. So far, 45 airports in 23 countries around the world have been prepared. Among these countries are Armenia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, India, Mauritius, Nepal, Panama, and the Philippines.
Says Ralf Dürrwang, Vice President Corporate Citizenship at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Going forward, I also hope that our successful example will inspire even more companies to enter into such public-private partnerships themselves. Because the more we manage to combine our strengths, the more can we make the world a better place.”