Deutsche Post DHL Group (www.DPDHL.com), the leading mail and logistics company, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) team up with National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC - Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes) and Toamasina International Airport (Aéroport de Madagascar – ADEMA) to conduct a four-day disaster preparedness workshop called Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) from May 20 to 24, 2019. Held at the Toamasina International Airport in Madagascar, the program developed by Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL Group), UNDP and OCHA, with the support of WFP, aims to better prepare airports to handle the sudden surge of incoming relief goods, should a major natural disaster strike.
"Preparedness measures to respond to disasters must improve airports readiness to manage emergency humanitarian assistance, even in the worst chaotic scenarios. Only in this way humanitarian workers could properly do their work, and the country will be able to save as many lives as possible and allow aviation to meet humanity's and sustainable development goals" noted Ms. Marie Dimond, UNDP Resident Representative for Madagascar.
Chris Weeks, Director of Humanitarian Affairs at Deutsche Post DHL Group: "Using our logistics expertise and the partnership with UNDP, we have in collaboration run GARD workshops in nearly 50 airports across 25 countries and trained more than 1,200people at airports around the world. The GARD workshop allows us to work with authorities to increase the surge capacity of airports after natural disasters. It also helps to improve the overall coordination across various organizations involved in relief efforts when a disaster hits.".
Yves Andrianaharison, Country Manager, DHL Madagascar, said, "During natural calamities, the Airport becomes the center for international support after a natural disaster has hit. The GARD program is coordinated jointly with the national stakeholders – from airport authorities to emergency services such as the special mobile force, police helicopter squadron as well as the security manager. It is therefore vital to prepare all relevant stakeholders to be able to work hand in hand in this situation and to develop a contingency planning that will respond well to an emergency and its potential humanitarian impact".
Madagascar is prone to natural disasters and in particular to cyclones. As such, it is imperative the plans be developed to support the airport to be able to support natural disaster management response. The workshop will bring together representatives of all aspects of airport operations, the National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC), United Nations agencies as well as representatives of national civil aviation authorities.
The GARD training is strongly supported by the BNGRC and ADEMA, greatly facilitated by OCHA and UNDP country office, three of whom were the main stakeholders involved in the request of Madagascar to be part of the list of countries in which GARD workshops have been run.
"The lessons learned from the experiences of Madagascar in the emergency management of the immediate aftermath of the disaster caused by tropical cyclone ENAWO (2017), have highlighted the necessity of improving the capacity international airports of the country. The main expected outcome from this GARD workshop is to be detailed in a disaster preparedness and response plan along with relevant protocols and procedures for these international airports of Madagascar in order to support them become the vital hubs for the entry and exit points through which all relief efforts are undertaken. At the same time staff from BNGRC and the authorities at International Airport are trained in the necessary protocols and know-how to swiftly respond and face efficiently in case of dramatic situation and potential emergencies," explains Colonel ELACK Olivier Andriankaja, the Executive Secretary of BNGRC.
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Ramatoulaye Moussa Mazou
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About the GARD Program:
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 49 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 Germany.
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.
About Deutsche Post DHL Group:
Deutsche Post DHL Group (www.DPDHL.com) 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.
Deutsche 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.
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In accordance with the provisions of the National Risks & Disasters Management Policy and those of the National Risks & Disasters Management Strategy, the BNGRC mission is to coordinate and implement the National Risks & Disasters Management Strategy (SNGRC in French) through the design and implementation of intervention plans, the follow up and evaluation of these different levels of intervention activities, in the entire country.
Through this mandate, it collaborates very closely with sectorial intervention stakeholders in order to identify disaster risks that need to be greatly reduced and progressively covered, and finally to contribute to the sector's resilience to these disaster risks.
Gard in Madagascar:
The process that lead to the organization of this GARD workshop in Madagascar started in September 2017, while the country was slowly recovering from an especially devastating cyclonic season in 58 of its 119 Districts.
The intense ENAWO tropical cyclone had a sever impact on the island. On its way south, it reached the Malagasy territory at full power, leaving in its trail a desolate sight and 80 dead, pinpointing the failings in the fluidity of the management of the massive influx of humanitarian aid at the Itavo International Airport in Antananarivo.
With this disastrous event, Madagascar has faced its most powerful cyclonic impact since GALIFO in 2004. The lessons learned from the management of emergencies pertaining to this disaster highlighted the need to strengthen airports capacity to better handle the situation as they were quickly overwhelmed with the influx of an important volume of relief material, as these problems are likely to delay or even interrupt the routing of life-saving products.
This GARD workshop, which regroups around 40 people on five days, is specific in the sense that delegations from all Madagascar's international airports will be attending. Hence, it could result in 7 actions plan.