Logistics industry responds to Dorian catastrophe

BAHAMAS: September 10, 2019. Deutsche Post DHL has deployed six volunteer members of its Disaster Response Team (DRT) to manage inbound aid logistics for Hurricane Dorian survivors in Freeport, Nassau and Abaco.

The DRT helps prevent bottlenecks at the airport closest to disaster-affected areas, ensuring food, medicine and hygiene kits keep moving – even under the most difficult circumstances. So far the Bahamas DRT team has helped distribute over 136 tons of relief goods on behalf of the IFRC and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

According to the WFP, one week after initial landfall the official death toll from Hurricane Dorian is 50 in Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands with thousands still missing.

An estimated 90 percent of housing and infrastructure on Abaco Island is damaged or destroyed, with many homes still without power as the UN organisation establishes a logistics hub in Marsh Harbour.

Some 5,000 people have been evacuated by government, military and private boats and aircraft and an estimated 6,000-7,000 people remain on the affected islands with the next WFP vessel due to arrive on September 11.

UPS and Amazon Air have also donated flights on behalf of several aid organisations. Three days ago a UPS humanitarian charter flight arrived in Nassau with nearly 20 tonnes of emergency supplies for the IFRC and UNICEF.

Amazon is shipping relief items donated by the company and its customers from US fulfillment centres to Tampa for flights to Nassau and distribution by the IFRC, Mercy Corps and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation.

“Following a natural disaster, it is imperative to respond quickly to ensure vital, life-saving relief supplies are available to people in need,” commented Gilberto Castro, DPDHL senior Director Operations Colombia & GoHelp manager for the Americas region.

As the number of natural disasters increase, DPDHL’s public-private-partnership with the UN enables the company to serve as an integrated part of an internationally established humanitarian relief system and to make an effective contribution to aid disaster victims.