Ceva Panama supports Haitian relief effort

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Ceva’s Panama Logistics Centre is supporting emergency response to Haiti through Panama’s Tocumen International Airport.

Four charters were closed by Ceva in Panama yesterday to deliver 100 tons of medical supplies, water dispensers, care kits, cooking kits, blankets, oral rehydration salts, canned foods and several other humanitarian equipments to support the major catastrophe in Haiti.

All of the humanitarian organisations based in Panama are requesting the support of Ceva to deliver all supplies to Port Au Prince.

The list of relief organisations that Ceva’s working with includes the World Food Program of the United Nations, Intermon Oxfam Cargo, Accion contra el Hambre, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation AECID and UNICEF.

Ceva is using 727-200s to minimise the use of fuel on the ground, with a return trip from Panama possible without refuel.

“It has already been widely reported that entry into Haiti is proving to be a logistical nightmare. The challenge for us is getting goods to the people who need them, in the fastest and most effective way. We’ve assigned our most senior strategic team in the Americas to devise ways of delivering cargo that overcome the many barriers the ground team are facing. For example, the airport facilities are in such bad condition that we are taking people with us to manually unload the cargo,” said Bruno Sidler, chief operating officer at Ceva Logistics.

* Deutsche Post DHL has sent its Disaster Response Team to provide on-the-ground logistics support to the international relief effort in Haiti.

The team is preparing to operate out of Toussaint L’ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince to manage the logistics, and ensure the continuous flow of inbound freight at the airport, including the transfer and distribution of incoming relief goods, once roads are stable.

It will carry out its activities in close co-operation with the United Nations.

Chief executive Frank Appel said: “DHL is committed to providing unwavering support to the people of Haiti and our employees and their families during this devastating situation. We will do our utmost to make sure adequate food and medical supplies are delivered from the international airport to the people.”

The DHL team in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is preparing to handle a variety of unsolicited relief goods such as tents, tarpaulins, food, clothing, medicines and water purifying equipment.

DHL is planning to build a temporary, professional warehouse at the airport, including sorting facilities and making a full inventory of donated goods.

One of the team’s tasks is also to ensure the speedy loading of aid onto trucks or helicopters. The mission is expected to last for several weeks.

Chris Weeks, DHL director of Humanitarian Affairs, said: “The team was designed to respond to devastating situations like these and is committed to helping the people of Haiti. Its members are well-trained to provide hands-on effective logistics support to help the victims of natural disasters in the time of need.

“However this disaster is going to require exceptional logistics skills as the country had poor infrastructure even before the earthquake struck.”

* Elsewhere, UPS has contributed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti through its charitable arm, The UPS Foundation.

The $1 million donation will include $500,000 in cash and up to $500,000 of in-kind services for the shipment of needed supplies. The funds will be divided between The American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF and other organisations that assist with long-term relief activities.

Dan Brutto, president of UPS International, said: “Through our financial commitment and logistics expertise, UPS is positioned to respond quickly to the urgent needs and tremendous suffering that have been created by the earthquake. We felt it was critical that we act fast to support the relief efforts.”

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