Deutsche Post DHL and UNDP launch second “Get Airports Ready for Disaster” workshop in the Philippines

Mar 31, 2014

The "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" training aims to to increase the surge capacity of airports following disasters. Filephoto: Deutsche Post DHL

Deutsche Post DHL and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today launched a “Get Airports Ready for Disaster” (GARD) workshop at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Running from March 31 to April 2, 2014, the workshop prepares airport personnel for the logistics of emergencies, including handling high volumes of incoming goods and passengers in the aftermath of a disaster. The 52 participants are a mix of staff from airport operations, air traffic control, security and relevant disaster management agencies that play a vital role in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Deutsche Post DHL’s GARD program was developed in cooperation with UNDP and aims to prepare airports in disaster-prone areas to handle a disaster-related surge in people and goods. GARD trainers are DHL experts in the field who conduct the training on a pro bono basis and provide relevant materials while UNDP manages the project, leads the coordination with local government authorities, and provides funds to shoulder workshop costs.

“Through these workshops, Deutsche Post DHL is able to work together with authorities all over the world to analyze and define the capacities needed at airports in case of natural disasters. Most importantly, it helps all parties involved to develop a blueprint specific to each location in times of disaster”, said Christof Ehrhart, Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL. “Following the recent experience with Typhoon Haiyan, this training will equip the Mactan-Cebu International Airport team with the right skills to manage the logistics of relief goods and other materials that will arrive at the airport following a natural catastrophe”, he added.

“Our partnership with DHL offers us the chance to better prepare airports for the challenges associated with emergency relief,” says Jo Scheuer, UNDP’s Global Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction. “In each country where we implement GARD, the workshop is part of a wide range of disaster risk reduction measures, helping partners to prevent, mitigate and prepare for disasters.”

The GARD training takes place after the Philippines were hit by devastating Typhoon Haiyan last November. A DHL Disaster Response Team supported at the local Mactan Cebu airport for almost three weeks, sorting relief goods and preparing them for their further transport. Following their deployment, the Cebu Provincial Government and Mactan Cebu International Airport Authorities requested the GARD program to be run at the airport. This will be the second implementation of a GARD workshop after a first successful training in Manila in May 2013. “We live in a country located along the Ring of Fire, or typhoon belt, where annually approximately 80 typhoons develop above its tropical waters.  We have already witnessed what the effects can be, and hence, want to be as prepared as possible in the event we are faced with a similar scenario in the future,” said Nigel Paul C. Villarete, General Manager, Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Deutsche Post DHL’s disaster management program

The GARD concept complements the disaster management program of Deutsche Post DHL, which also includes the DHL Disaster Response Teams, and the comprehensive risk reduction work of UNDP. A long-term partner of the Philippines government, UNDP has been focused on institutional and policy changes that enhance and enable disaster prevention and preparedness. Meanwhile, DHL’s Disaster Response Teams (DRT) step in to organize the logistics at airports following a disaster and have been deployed over 20 times since its launch in 2005. The DRTs, in close cooperation with the UN, help keep the flow of incoming relief goods moving at disaster-site airports. Both GARD and DRT form part of the Group's Corporate Responsibility Program “Living Responsibility”. Both programs are conducted in partnership with the UNDP and are offered free of charge. To date, GARD has been implemented at 23 airports in Indonesia (2009, 2011, 2012), Nepal (2010), Bangladesh (2011), Lebanon (2012), Turkey (2012), El Salvador (2013), Philippines (2013), Panama (2013), Armenia (2013) and Peru (2014).

For more information please contact:

For UNDP in Philippines: Lisa Hiller-Garvey, Mobile +63 (0) 9175147983,;

For UNDP in New York: Carl Mercer,

For Deutsche Post DHL: Christina Müschen, Phone: +49 (0)228 182-99 44,;

For DHL Asia Pacific & EEMEA: Anita Gupta, Tel: +65 6771 3333, Fax: +65 6771 3322,  

About UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Please visit UNDP Philippines Facebook and Twitter.

About Deutsche Post DHL
Deutsche Post DHL is the world’s leading mail and logistics services group.

The Deutsche Post and DHL corporate brands represent a one-of-a-kind portfolio of logistics (DHL) and communications (Deutsche Post) services. The Group provides its customers with both easy to use standardized products as well as innovative and tailored solutions ranging from dialog marketing to industrial supply chains. About 480,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories form a global network focused on service, quality and sustainability. With programs in the areas of environmental protection, disaster management and education, the Group is committed to social responsibility. In 2013, Deutsche Post DHL generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros. 

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