ERBIL, IRAQ – Media OutReach – 16
April 2019 – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and DPDHL, in
partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)’s Joint Crisis
Coordination Centre (JCCC), is conducting a ‘Get Airports Ready for Disaster’
(GARD) workshop in Iraq from April 14 to 18, 2019 to prepare airport personnel
for post-disaster logistics situations. The five-day workshop will provide
training to a mixed group of thirty (30) airport staff as well as employees
from relevant government agencies, at Erbil International Airport. This is the
first time a GARD workshop is held in Iraq.
(L to R) Chris Weeks, Vice President, Humanitarian Services, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Vakhtang Svanidze, Deputy Country Director- Operations, Hoshang Mohammed, Director General JCC and Kawa Aziz, Deputy Director General EIA at the ‘Get Airports Ready for Disaster’ (GARD) workshop in Iraq. Since 2009 nearly 50 GARD workshops have been held in 24 countries, and nearly 1,160 attendees trained.
Iraq, in addition to security issues, faces multiple threats
from natural disasters due to its varied climate, including drought and
desertification, floods, sandstorms, and earthquakes. Along its border
with Iran, where the Eurasian and Arabian tectonic plates meet, earthquakes occur
frequently. In November 2017, a huge earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude hit
this area. It was the largest ever recorded in this region and considered the
deadliest quake in the world that year.
“As a frequent responder to help after natural disasters, we
at DPDHL see it over and over again — airports quickly get overwhelmed by the
chaos of incoming relief aid, UN and NGO personnel, military organizations and
the crowds of people trying to leave. Add to this the fact that humanitarian
aid sometimes arrives faster than the airport can organize for it to get out,
and you get a massive bottleneck in the flow of relief logistics. Timing is
critical during a disaster and the more efficient an airport is at processing
incoming aircraft, the faster aid can get out to those in need,” says Chris
Weeks, Vice President, Humanitarian Services, Deutsche Post DHL Group. He
continued, “We are really proud to be conducting our first GARD workshop in
Iraq, and hope the authorities here see value in the training.”
One expected outcome of the GARD workshop is to identify
areas in the airport that could potentially serve as key locations for disaster
logistics operations. The GARD workshop will also evaluate the airports’
capacities for processing high volumes of passengers and cargo and warehousing
“We are very pleased with this partnership and we welcome
this first-of-its kind initiative of the “GARD” as it will further enhance our
crisis management capacities to respond to disaster-affected people timely
through expediting and fast-tracking the importation and movement of relief
items and humanitarian assistance as well as the entry and exit of the
humanitarian personnel. We extend our thanks to UNDP Iraq and DPDHL for
conducting this programme”. said Mr. Hoshang Mohamed, Director General of the
KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre, Ministry of Interior.
Mr. Vakhtang Svanidze, the UNDP Resident Representative in
Iraq says the airport preparedness matters to UNDP because “the threat of
natural or man-made disasters remain high. For example, due to torrential
rains, the country continues to witness large scale floods which have claimed
lives, displaced people and destroyed property. The Mosul Dam poses significant
risks to the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable communities along the
Tigris flood plain.” Mr. Svanidze continued that “managing the logistics of a
large-scale disaster response can be complex. Air transport is crucial to
providing smart and speedy humanitarian aid” and therefore UNDP actively “advocates
for the vital role of airport preparedness for efficient disaster response”.
Since 2009 nearly 50 GARD workshops have been held in 24
countries, and nearly 1,160 attendees trained. In the Middle East, workshops
were previously held in Tehran (2017), Almaty (2017), Aqaba (2016), Amman
(2014), Yerevan (2013) and Beirut (2012).
On the Internet: dpdhl.com/press
Follow us at: twitter.com/DeutschePostDHL
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 more than 43
airports in Armenia, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador,
India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, the Maldives, 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 training workshop arrangements and logistics
costs are fully covered by UNDP with funding contribution by the government of
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.
The DRTs were established in cooperation with the United
Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). They
encompass a worldwide network of more than 400 volunteers, all specially
trained employees of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
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.
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. The Group
generated revenues of more than 61 billion Euros in 2018.
Die Post für Deutschland. The logistics
company for the world.
UNDP works in close to 170 countries and territories, helping
to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and
exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering
abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain
Source:: Media Outreach
Software & Services