BONN, Germany and DENPASAR, Indonesia, Sept. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Germany's Deutsche Post DHL Group and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are once again conducting their joint preventative training, known as Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD), from September 5 to 9 at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, Lombok International Airport and Selaparang Airport in Lombok. Indonesia was the pilot country when the program was implemented globally in 2009 -- in Makassar and Palu.
Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire where several continental plates collide. As a result, the chain of islands is at frequent risk of earthquakes, tsunamis and active volcanoes. Additionally, Bali and Lombok are categorized as high risk areas in the Indonesian Disaster Risk Index (2013). Airports in both provinces experienced operations shutdown due to volcanic eruptions from nearby Mount Rinjani.
The multi-day workshop involves over 50 participants -- including representatives from the airport operating company, aviation safety experts, national and regional Disaster Management Planning Agencies, Indonesian Red Cross, immigration authorities, the military and the police force -- who will be trained to handle the high volume of incoming relief goods and increasing number of passengers during the aftermath of natural disasters.
"Following natural disasters, airports become vital hubs for the processing of incoming relief supplies," says Christof Ehrhart, Head of Corporate Communications and Responsibility at Deutsche Post DHL Group. "With sound processes in place at the airport and with the relevant agencies, relief goods and aid can be channeled through airports to reach the affected communities quickly and efficiently. This program continues to help improve disaster management in this geologically high-risk region."
"Often airports are unprepared to manage large disasters or humanitarian crisis and as a result, assistance gets slower in getting to those most affected. GARD is working specifically with all partners on the ground to solve any potential bottlenecks that could impede fast response to save lives. I praise the Indonesian government for its commitment to preparedness and the airport authorities for their risk informed management," says United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Douglas Broderick.
The training includes evaluation of the airports' capacities for processing high volumes of passengers and cargo and warehousing relief supplies. Location-specific disaster plans are drawn up as well.
Since 2009, GARD trainings have been held in eight airports in Indonesia, namely Sultan Hassanuddin Airport in Makassar (2009), Mutiara Airport in Palu (2009), Ngurah Rai Airport (old airport) in Denpasar (2011), El Tari Airport in Kupang (2011), Polonia Airport in Medan (2012), Sultan Iskandarsyah Airport in Banda Aceh (2012), Fatmawati Airport in Bengkulu (2012) and Minangkabau Airport in Padang (2013).
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 34 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 training materials are provided free-of-charge by Deutsche Post DHL Group while UNDP leads the project implementation and facilitates the coordination with the government authorities. 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.
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 volunteers, all specially trained employees of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
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