Deutsche Post DHL and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Ministry of Civil Aviation, kicked off a disaster preparedness initiative ” Get Airports Ready for Disaster ” (GARD) workshop in Colombo . The four-day workshop will be held from 2 to 5 December 2014, and will provide training to 34 Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) personnel to effectively deliver and support vital relief operations in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
The GARD training is strongly supported by the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, both of whom were represented at the program’s kick-off ceremony.
According to secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management, S. M. Mohamed, “We consider GARD to be an essential part of improved disaster preparedness at a national level. GARD will have special significance for Sri Lanka being an island country, which depends heavily on airports to get required external assistance and inputs in the event of a national disaster. We look forward to gaining from the DHL-UNDP experience at the GARD workshop and getting our airports prepared to face disasters of all scales.”
Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, T.R.C. Ruberu added, “When disasters strike airports are a vital point in disaster management and recovery. Preparedness of airports to face national disasters will enable delivery of rapid and effective response and build the capacity of the nation to be more resilient in the face of crises. We appreciate the DHL-UNDP collaboration, which provided an excellent opportunity for Sri Lanka to learn from previous GARD experiences in other countries. The GARD workshop will provide training and key expertise for our officials to swiftly respond to disaster situations. The Ministry of Civil Aviation is keen to work together with DHL and UNDP to ensure that our airports are resilient and responsive in the face of disasters.”