Teaming up in Haiti
Friday, 28 October, 2016 - 14:30

 Relief supplies are ready for airlift by UPS at UNHRD hub in Panama
Relief supplies are ready for airlift by UPS at UNHRD hub in Panama

The LET partners have joined forces again - this time for Haiti.

Amidst the ongoing Hurricane Matthew response, three top-tier logistics companies, Agility, Maersk Group and UPS have come together again to avail their capacities and resources for the humanitarian community. This would not be possible without the Logistics Emergency Team (LET): the emergency response partnership formed to assist the Logistics Cluster with disaster relief efforts. Since the partnership was initiated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2005, the partnering companies have been teaming up to support the humanitarian community by providing logistics expertise, deploying logistics staff, as well as offering in-kind services during large-scale natural disasters.

In Haiti, Hurricane Matthew left a trail of destruction, with 2.1 million affected people, 546 deaths reported, and more than 140,000 left without a home (as of 26 October). The country is also struggling with an increased number of cholera cases and some 800,000 Haitians require immediate food assistance. Given the need for large-scale humanitarian assistance, the Global Logistics Cluster requested LET partners to support the emergency response.

Their swift reaction has been critical in helping the vulnerable communities left without a home and who are being threatened by serious food insecurity and disease in the aftermath of the hurricane.

 The Non-Food Items are being transported to the warehouse space arranged by Agility
The Non-Food Items are being transported to the warehouse space arranged by Agility

To date, the LET partners have supported the WFP-led Logistics Working Group in Haiti by providing pro bono ocean freight and airlift services, customs clearance support, warehouse space and other assets, such as trucks, refrigerated containers and forklifts. Maersk has approved shipments of 23 containers filled with shelter tool kits, plastic buckets, vehicles, rice, family kits and other relief items on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and the WFP. This offer is extended to the whole humanitarian community involved in the Haiti response, and the Maersk Group, which allocated USD 125,000 in international shipping support, is receiving further requests from various NGOs. Additionally, Maersk has donated a refrigerated container for medical supply storage in Haiti, while Damco has provided forklifts, operators and other services for local operations to run more efficiently.

UPS arranged for three humanitarian charter flights in the critical days after the disaster, totalling 155 mt of life-saving supplies to people in need of immediate assistance. Shelter, health, sanitary, hygiene, early recovery and emergency communication items were transported on behalf of ADRA, CRS, Handicap International, IFRC, Irish Aid, MedAir, Shelterbox, Solidarités International, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, and World Vision. UPS also provided primary ground transportation services in Haiti, leveraging its local capacity to move vital supplies from Port au Prince to Les Cayes for Hurricane Matthew survivors.

Furthermore, Agility arranged for 2000 m2 of warehouse space in close proximity to the airport in Port au Prince, which is currently being used to store Non-Food Items (NFIs), such as sanitary and health supplies by different organisations, including Handicap International, Save the Children, WHO, World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, Norwegian Church Aid and the World Food Programme. A warehouse manager and ten warehouse workers are coordinating the receipt and dispatch of large quantities of supplies, proactively contributing to the fast and efficient distribution of humanitarian aid from Port au Prince to the affected areas.

The LET’s generous contributions of logistics assets, services and personnel have significantly boosted the speed and effectiveness of the humanitarian community’s response in Haiti by harnessing the expertise of the private sector to complement and build on locally-led responses and in-country resources.