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DUBAI: February 06, 2019. DHL Global Forwarding has established a Global Competence Center for Humanitarian Logistics and appointed Fatima Ait Bendawad, with 15 years experience in creating, providing and implementing solutions for complex humanitarian operations, as its head.

fatima ait bendawadThe Center will offer NGOs, aid agencies, their suppliers and manufacturers a range of services including air and ocean freight, Customs clearance, warehousing and local distribution of humanitarian shipments.

With its geographical location and longstanding reputation as a cluster for global aid and relief organizations, Dubai currently plays host to several major logistics hubs including the International Humanitarian City, the largest humanitarian hub worldwide from which nine United Nations agencies and 48 NGOs currently run operations.

“The level of preparedness – whether it be expedited Customs clearances, readiness to handle dangerous goods like chemicals or medicines, or processes for on-ground collaboration between multiple agencies – directly correlates with the efficiency of humanitarian logistics,” explained Ait Bendawad (pictured). “Our work on the front line, has helped us build and maintain familiarity with the nuances of compliance, regulation and international standards that apply to movements of critical goods,” she added.

DHL has extensive experience in disaster management activities including the deployment of its Disaster Response Teams to provide on-ground logistics support in natural disaster zones; and the Get Airports Ready for Disasters programme, which runs joint workshops with the UN Development Programme to prepare local airport management for the logistical issues associated with natural disasters.

In a related announcement The Logistics Emergency Team (LET), made up of humanitarian logisticians from UPS, A.P. Moeller Maersk, Agility and DP World, has published its 2018 annual report.

In the past 13 years LET has responded to 17 major emergencies and provided essential information to help humanitarians prepare for and respond to emergencies worldwide.

At the World Economic Forum in January last year, the four partners agreed to expand their involvement to provide logistics support in “complex emergencies” that escalate due to different external hazards such as drought or a massive influx of refugees; and support for preparedness activities which have proved to be key for how quickly and effectively people can be reached when a disaster strikes.

As a result, expanding the LET role has meant more regular requests for support at a much smaller scale. One example in 2018 was the supply of five reefer containers by Maersk, DP World and UPS which were needed to support the delivery of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals including vaccines and cholera medicine in response to the humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

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