DHL and UN OCHA extend humanitarian partnership

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 03:58 GMT

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and Deutsche Post DHL, the world's leading post and logistics service provider, renewed on last Tuesday their successful partnership, started in 2005, for another three years. The extension contract was signed in Geneva by Rashid Khalikov, Director of UN OCHA Geneva and Rainer Wend, Executive Vice President Corporate Public Policy and Sustainability at Deutsche Post DHL.

"Over the past five years, we have worked very successfully together in disaster management. The partnership with UN OCHA enables us to contribute our logistics know-how to help people in need, and we are very much looking forward to continue our cooperation for another three years," says Rainer Wend.

The most recent deployment in September saw DHL deploy a team of logistics experts from its Middle East Disaster Response Team (DRT) to manage a temporary warehouse at Islamabad International Airport, in support of relief efforts during the Pakistan floods. The DRT provided its services pro bono in close cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). In parallel, DHL offices in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey rallied support, donations and humanitarian aid. Donations amounting between USD$270,000 and USD$300,000 (€212,500 to €236,100) poured in from the DHL offices worldwide including Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and the company's corporate head office in Bonn, Germany. Humanitarian aid including milk powder, clothes, canned food and medical supplies were also sent to aid flood victims.

In close cooperation with the United Nations, Deutsche Post DHL assists the authorities of affected countries and the humanitarian relief community in the handling and storing of relief cargo at airports in disaster regions. UN OCHA benefits from the logistics and warehousing expertise by Deutsche Post DHL, a service that the United Nations would not be able to maintain on their own all year long. On the other hand, thanks to this partnership, the work of the "Disaster Response Teams" of Deutsche Post DHL is integrated into humanitarian relief operations and thus benefits from the United Nations' strong linkage to other actors of the international community responding to difficult disaster situations.

Deutsche Post DHL global "Disaster Response Teams (DRT)" network consists of three teams, each of which is assigned to a specific geographic region covering Asia Pacific, Latin America/the Caribbean and the Middle East/Africa. Each team consists of a pool of about 80 specially trained DHL employees, who have volunteered to take part in the pro-bono humanitarian efforts. In case of an emergency, volunteers can deploy within 72 hours to a disaster hit region. During an average stay of two to three weeks on the ground, the team of 10 at a time alternates to ensure the highest level of proficiency under very demanding circumstances.

"Their expertise, their professionalism and their dedication helped in many circumstances to ensure the flow of incoming relief materials, to decongest crowded or uncoordinated airports and to improve the flow of incoming in-kind contributions and unsolicited donations" says Rashid Khalikov, Director of UN OCHA Geneva.

Over the past years, the DRT have been deployed almost 20 times to the airports of some 15 disaster hit countries, including to Haiti, Guatemala, Chile, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Peru. The most recent operation took place during the severe floods that hit Pakistan in August 2010. Thirty DHL employees from ten different countries volunteered to receive, sort and prepare goods delivered by international donors at Chaklala Airbase, Islamabad, for onward transportation. The team spent more than five weeks in Pakistan and handled over 4,500 tons of relief goods. They also packed more than 2,500 DHL special bags with food and commodities. These were then dropped by helicopter in remote and inaccessible areas.

The Disaster Response Teams are part of Deutsche Post DHL's GoHelp program which focuses on disaster management. The social and environmental commitment of Deutsche Post DHL is summarized under the label "Living Responsibility", with the three pillars GoHelp, GoTeach and GoGreen. In its "Strategy 2015", Deutsche Post DHL has defined sustainable economic activity as one of the main focal points of the company's future strategy for growth.

One of OCHA's strategic objectives is to strengthen relationships with a wider group of operational partners and other relevant actors to advance humanitarian action. This involves among others adapting coordination mechanisms to enable better dialogue and networking between humanitarian organizations (UN and non-UN) and the private sector. 

Background Information


DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and "The Logistics Company for the World". DHL commits its expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers.

A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and about 300,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting climate protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenue of more than 46 billion euros in 2009. 

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