UNDP and Deutsche Post DHL Group join forces to train staff from King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba on effective disaster response

Dec 13, 2016

In the event of a disaster, airports become central logistics hubs for life-saving relief supply logistics. It is therefore crucial that all involved parties be professionally prepared for the worst-case scenario. Deutsche Post DHL Group and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are conducting their joint disaster prevention training, known as Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD), from December 13 to 15 at King Hussein International Airport in Aqaba, Jordan. The training aims to support local authorities, staff and partners and equip them to optimally manage relief supply logistics if a disaster – such as an earthquake or sandstorm – strikes.

“Confusion and disorganized workflows at airports after natural disasters can often lead to drastic delays in relief supply logistics,” says Christof Ehrhart, Head of Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “Through the GARD program, our logistics experts can help to ensure readiness for crisis management at airports, even before disaster strikes. When natural disasters do occur, more rapid delivery of relief supplies as a result of this training often mitigates suffering and saves lives.”

Over the course of the multi-day workshop, representatives from the airport operating company, aviation safety experts, national and regional disaster management authorities and relief organizations, the military and the police – will be trained to manage the higher volumes of cargo and passengers requiring transport after a disaster. The training sessions include evaluation of the airports ’capacities for warehousing relief supplies and drafting of location-specific disaster plans.



“UNDP’s Global Strategic Plan 2014-2017 places special emphasis on DRR by supporting countries to reduce the likelihoods of conflict and lower the risk of natural hazards, including from climate change. During 2016, UNDP continued its support for Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD). The previous GARD workshop took place in 2014 at Queen Ali International Airport in Amman. The aim of this workshop is to build on that effort and to prepare Aqaba airport personnel for the logistics of emergencies, including handling high volumes of incoming goods and passengers in the aftermath of a disaster” says Ms. Majida AlAssaf, Deputy Country Director and Programme Manager at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)”

In order to improve resilience of Arab cities, UNDP launched it Arab Cities Disaster Resilience Programme in 2014, based upon its success in implementation of this approach in different cities around the world and Aqaba in Jordan (2009-2014).  In 2013 UNDP led the formulation of the Aqaba Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction in Arab Cities, which defines about 18 targets for sustainable urban development.


 About GARD

GARD was developed in 2009 by Deutsche Post DHL Group in cooperation with the United National 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. It also enables the various organizations and aid agencies to better understand the processes at the airport in the aftermath of a disaster, which helps facilitate relief efforts and enhance overall coordination.

To date, GARD workshops have been held at 36 airports in Armenia, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Nepal, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Turkey. GARD trainers and materials are provided free-of-charge by Deutsche Post DHL Group while UNDP leads the project implementation and facilitates coordination with government authorities. GARD training workshop arrangements and logistics costs are covered by UNDP. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provides a funding contribution to UNDP’s work.

The GARD training program was launched as part of the GoHelp program in which Deutsche Post DHL 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 actually 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 responsible 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 specially trained employees of Deutsche Post DHL Group, all of whom are volunteers. Once called into action by the UN, the DRTs are on the ground in the disaster region within a maximum of 72 hours and begin their work immediately.

Contact information

Ms. Zeina Nader Horani

Phone: +962 6 5100420
Mail: zeina.horani@undp.org

Fax: +962 6 5100430

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