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Disaster readiness and relief: How GoHelp Europe delivers in increasingly disruptive times

When disaster strikes, quick action can save lives. Discover how DHL is now preparing disaster response teams and supply chains in Europe to respond more efficiently and effectively.


Responding to increasing climate-related crises in Europe

Delivery of AID

In the early hours of February 6, 2023, a powerful earthquake shook Turkey, leaving thousands of people homeless and in desperate need of aid. Northern and western Syria were also affected. This disaster showed how important it is to get aid supplies to those in need as quickly as possible.

The earthquake also reminded us of the growing frequency of natural disasters in Europe. Europe is the fastest-warming continent in the world and extreme weather events are occurring more often, like the recent floods in Germany and Belgium and forest fires across Greece, Spain, and Portugal.

How do we handle these increasing risks in Europe? The answer is planning and preparation – which is what GoHelp, started in 2004 in collaboration with the United Nations, aims to do. We’re now expanding our disaster relief and preparedness program into Europe to train our people and work with our partners in the humanitarian community.

GoHelp goes to Europe

Disaster Response Team

Until now, our GoHelp program has focused on three regions: Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. These areas account for 80% of the world’s disaster hotspots. By expanding to Europe, we’ll cover all major regions.

GoHelp in Europe means that we’re setting up a regional Disaster Response Team (DRT) for the continent. This process began in April when 50 experts from across DHL Europe and multiple humanitarian organizations joined 10 GoHelp instructors at the Istanbul International Airport for the first training session. The training included certifying 35 DHL employees as new DRT members.

DRTs are trained to deploy within 72 hours of a disaster to help at affected airports. In Europe, DRTs will also collaborate with our partners to support relief supply chains beyond airports, such as warehousing and other areas of logistics.

Our goal in Europe and all other regions is to use DHL’s logistics expertise and global network to ensure a more efficient and coordinated disaster readiness and response.

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GoHelp: Delivering help when disaster strikes since 2004

Gard trainer

Natural disasters are inevitable, but the logistics bottlenecks that often follow can be prevented. At DHL, logistics is our specialty, and our teams are eager to assist when needed. It makes perfect sense to utilize our resources to aid and enhance relief efforts around the world.

Since 2004, we've been deploying teams of logistics experts to airports and warehouses worldwide at the request of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Alongside our DRTs, our Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) trainers conduct multi-day workshops at airports globally. These workshops help participants prepare for the logistics challenges that come with disaster relief. GARD’s mission is to ensure airport personnel are ready so communities can recover faster.

Learn more about how we GoHelp.

GoHelp makes an impact


DRT deployments


DRTs can be on-site and operational 72 hours


GARD workshops


People trained by our GARD instructors

Follow #DRT and #GARD

See GoHelp in action by following us on social media using hashtags #GoHelp, #DRT, #GARD, and #DHL 

GoHelp at a Glance

  • What is DHL’s GoHelp program?
    GoHelp is part of DHL’s ‘GO’ family of social impact programs and initiatives. It aims to leverage our logistics expertise to streamline the flow of incoming aid after a natural disaster.
  • When did DHL start GoHelp?
    We launched GoHelp in 2004, deploying teams of logistics experts to affected airports worldwide in collaboration with the United Nations. 
  • Why did DHL launch GoHelp?
    Logistics is what we do best, and our people want to help. We saw a disconnect between the logistics and humanitarian efforts and recognized that relief organizations needed airfield logistics expertise. By working with UN agencies and NGOs, we developed solutions to support disaster relief logistics. It just made sense to use our expertise and global network to support and improve relief efforts around the world.
  • How is GoHelp structured?
    GoHelp has two main functions: disaster response and disaster readiness. Our Disaster Response Teams (DRTs) deploy to airports and in need when called upon by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and to warehouses when requested by local NGOs. Our Get Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) program works with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to prepare airport personnel and local disaster management organizations to better handle a surge in incoming relief goods.
  • Why does DHL partner with the UN and other NGOs?
    Partnering with the UN and other NGOs allows us to combine our core competencies, resulting in a highly effective system for disaster readiness and response. Public-private partnerships like these offer a multi-stakeholder approach that we feel is the best way to tackle many of today’s challenges. They bring together diverse yet complementary skills and expertise to maximize effectiveness and achieve greater impact. The international humanitarian system is well-established, with a wide range of organizations and inter-agency networks. So, it makes sense to join and support it.

GoHelp: When disaster strikes

Natural disasters are a fact of life, but logistics bottlenecks don't have to be. 

Published: June 2024

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