April 20, 2016: Deutsche Post DHL Group is sending a Disaster Response Team (DRT) to Manta in Ecuador. Since the South American nation was struck by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake Saturday evening, more than 30 tremors have been registered in western parts of the country. With immediate effect, the DHL DRT volunteers will provide pro bono logistics support at Ecuador's Eloy Alfaro International Airport in Manta. They will coordinate incoming international aid, preparing it for onward transportation to areas affected by the quake.
More than 400 people were killed and over 2,400 injured. Thousands of people have been left homeless, with no access to food, water or medical supplies.
Gilberto Castro, manager of DHL's DRT Americas team, explains, "When a natural disaster strikes, a rapid response is needed to get vital relief supplies to people in need. Efficient handling of incoming aid by professionals is key. This is where our DRT teams come in. Using their logistics expertise, they provide practical, effective support at airports to ensure fast, well-organised handling of all kinds of incoming aid supplies - from food and water, to emergency housing."
The DRTs are part of Deutsche Post DHL Group's GoHelp disaster management program, which it has operated in partnership with the United Nations (UN) since 2005. Within that partnership, the Group provides the UN with pro bono access to its core logistics expertise, its global transportation network and the logistics skills of more than 400 specially trained volunteer employees who can deploy within 72 hours. Since the partnership was launched, the DRTs have completed more than 30 deployments - most recently in April 2015 following the serious earthquake in Nepal and after the tropical storm that hit the Fiji Islands in February this year. In addition to the DRT deployments, the Group's Get Airports Read for Disaster (GARD) initiative - also part of the GoHelp program - helps airports in risk regions to be better prepared should disaster strike.