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06/14/2014 | UN and DHL use airport terminals to make disasters less terminal

UNDP, UNOCHA and the international courier company Deutsche Post DHL, met today at the UN headquarters to reaffirm their support for their public-private partnership in support of disaster preparedness and response.

The tripartite partnership, which includes commitment to the Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) programme and Disaster Response Teams, have been boosting the capacity of airports and national partners to better coordinate and distribute aid and relief when humanitarian disasters strike. The new agreement will see support continue for a further three years.

“Whether it's after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines or the recent outbreak of violence in the Central African Republic, airports often become vital hubs where terrified people seek a passage out and where incoming aid is coordinated and distributed,” said Marta Ruedas from UNDP.  “Often however, airports are overburdened in disaster and conflict situations and can become a bottle neck that slows down the provision of vital aid.”

To combat this, UNDP and DHL’s GARD programme supports airport staff in being able to respond to the influx of emergency personnel and goods during a natural disaster. At the same time, UNOCHA and DHL have been setting up Disaster Response Teams to quickly respond during emergencies.

Through DHL's world-wide expertise in rapid and effective transportation and logistics, the partnership helps UNDP and UNOCHA better respond to the immediate needs of the population, while sending relief goods and deploying experts to the scene of the disaster.

After training more than 430 people in Armenia, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Lebanon, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, and Turkey UNDP and DHL will now help prepare four airports per year through the new agreement. Plans are currently underway for training of airport staff in Jordan to begin in September 2014.

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Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.

econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.