Monday, June 6, 2011

DHL to Train Bangladesh Personnel in Disaster Logistics Management

Third Country to Benefit From GARD Program
Shipping News Feature

BANGLADESH - Deutsche Post DHL has announced that it will conduct its "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" (GARD) training at Dhaka and Chittagong airports in Bangladesh in June, preparing both airports and personnel for a post-disaster logistics situation.

The aim of the training is to improve local logistics capacities so that bottlenecks at disaster-site airports can be avoided when huge volumes of incoming relief goods arrive ad hoc. During the four-day program trainees - airport staff as well as local and government officials - learn to assess local requirements and create detailed contingency plans.

Developed in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and launched in 2009, the GARD training scheme is designed to teach involved personnel how to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges of disaster relief logistics, with the program already having been undertaken by both Nepal and Indonesia.

"We've gathered enough experience in disaster relief to know that efficient airport logistics are critical when it comes to getting aid to the people who need it most," says Frank Appel, CEO Deutsche Post DHL.

"The GARD initiative allows us to pass on our logistics expertise to local communities in disaster-free times. This way GARD is a smart addition to our regular disaster management activities following natural disasters."

The GARD instructors are specially trained logistics and training experts from DHL, some of which are already involved as volunteers in the company's disaster management program. They will conduct the GARD training for some 20 participants in the capital city of Dhaka, and in the port city of Chittagong. 

Once trained, the participants in Bangladesh shall evaluate their contingency plans on a regular basis and prepare the event of a crisis with local NGOs, the government and airport officials. GARD will be conducted as part of the "Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme 2010-2014 (CDMP II)" a multi-donor UNDP-support project of the Bangladesh Ministry of Food and Disaster Management, to ensure longer-term implementation of the training results.