/ / Partnership


Logistics – in particular the handling of relief items at times of emergency – form an integral part of any disaster response, and therefore a key aspect of the AHA Centre’s role as the primary regional coordinating body for disaster management in the ASEAN region. Having worked together during the large-scale response following the Central Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami event in 2018, the AHA Centre and Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) quickly realised the shared value that a formalised partnership between the two entities could have. The AHA Centre formalised this partnership by signing a Memorandum of Intent to work together with DHL – one of the world’s leading logistics services providers – effective on the 1st of July, 2019 in Manila, the Philippines.

The AHA Centre and DPDHL’s first major experience in a working partnership took place after 2018’s major disaster event in Central Sulawesi, with the significant amount of relief pouring into Indonesia requiring extra support to receive and deliver items to the affected region. DPDHL provided significant support on the ground, handling international items at the established receiving centre in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, as well as at Palu Airport – the entry-point to the affected area. It was this formative working experience that increased the interest of both parties to strengthen their partnership – with both directly witnessing the mutual benefit that such a partnership holds. Aside from this response effort, representative from DPDHL has also participated in the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ASEAN-ERAT) training programme, further promoting the engagement of public-private engagement in logistic management.

“We are excited to partner with AHA Centre in their growing role as a regional coordinating hub for the mobilisation of resources to disaster affected areas in Southeast Asia,” said Carl Schelfhaut, GoHelp Manager from the Asia Pacific DPDHL Group. “DPDHL Group has been closely following the One ASEAN One Response approach that the region has championed over the years and we fully support its implementation,” he continued.

The partnership – formalised through July’s MOI – will see DPDHL further engaging with the AHA Centre in future responses, with its Disaster Response Team (DRT) working on the ground alongside the AHA Centre to facilitate the movement of international relief items. Potential activities include unloading cargo planes, supporting professional warehousing and inventory management, and loading relief goods for onward transportation. DPDHL will also offer its expertise in logistics to support for the AHA Centre’s ASEAN-ERAT and ASEAN Humanitarian Logistics courses and activities. The AHA Centre’s Executive Director, Adelina Kamal highlighted the importance of the Centre’s further engagement in public-private partnerships such as this when she noted “public-private partnerships with industry experts like DPDHL Group are critical in scaling up the One ASEAN, One Response vision. As our partnership with DHL’s DRT team at Sulawesi last year demonstrated, their expertise in facilitating the flow of relief goods and supporting civil military relations is invaluable”.


Written by : WilIiam Shea | Photo : Deutsche Post DHL