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DHL Disaster Response Teams sort incoming international aid in Pakistan after floods (August 2010)

Large parts of Pakistan were hit by the most severe floods of the country’s history in the beginning of August 2010. The floods have killed over 2,000 people and more than 20 Million became homeless over night. Following a slowly growing relief effort by the international community, the DHL Disaster Response Team deployed several volunteers to the military part of Islamabad airport on August 26, 2010, in response to a request for support of the local relief authorities.

The team consisted of around 30 DRT volunteers from 10 countries and different business units of DHL’s subsidiaries in the Middle East and Asia/Pacific. Their task was to set up a professional warehouse for organizing and inventorying the incoming goods at the airport. The team handled more than 4, 500 tons of relief goods and additionally packed more than 2,500 DHL Speedballs*. These were transported by NGOs to the flood affected regions of the country. With the deployment, the DRT supported the Pakistani Government, international NGOs, as well as international humanitarian organizations such as USAid.

After 5 weeks of deployment, the team ended the deployment and handed over operations to the World Food Program which continued the work at the airport. Logistical support at Chaklala Airbase is still required as the situation, especially in the rural areas of Pakistan, is only improving slowly and relief goods continue to come in. The DRT received very positive feedback from the Pakistani Government as well as from international organizations involved in the relief efforts in Pakistan.

Hank Moon from NATO in Brussels sums it up: “On behalf of NATO, I would like to thank the entire DHL Disaster Response Team for their tremendous contribution to the Pakistan flood response. Once again DHL has shown its willingness to help those affected by natural disasters. The DHL DRT volunteered here at Chaklala Airbase to receive, sort and onward process the hundreds of tons of humanitarian goods delivered by the NATO strategic air bridge, and the aid delivered by the rest of the international community. We are very grateful for their dedicating support to the Pakistani people.”

Note: * A “Speedball” is a recycled DHL postal bag, filled by the DRT with food items and commodities. It can be airlifted and airdropped without problems, and its red colour makes it very easy to recover by the affected populations.