The unparalleled disaster in Haiti required an unprecedented response. In the following report we present examples of corporate global citizenship in Haiti following the tragic earthquake of 12 January 2010. The purpose of doing so is to highlight the increasing role of the private sector in contributing to innovations in humanitarian assistance through tri-sector partnerships. We also identify remaining gaps and hope that this report, through raising awareness of these gaps, will help to eliminate them as responses to future disasters.
Disaster Resource Partnership
The Engineering & Construction Disaster Resource Partnership (DRP) is a new model for coordinated private sector partnership in response to natural disasters. It has been developed through case studies of past private sector interventions, numerous workshops and interviews with key humanitarian actors in disasters, and has benefited from continuous input and direction by the working group executives of the World Economic Forum’s Engineering and Construction (E&C) Member and Partner companies.
To reduce suffering and save lives, the vision of the DRP is to form an ongoing collaboration with the humanitarian community at the global level, and government and other key humanitarian actors at the national level, to optimize the core strengths and capacities of the E&C community before, during and after natural rapid-onset disasters.
Construction companies located in disaster-affected areas have assets that can be invaluable to humanitarian and government relief organizations. These can be tangible assets, including stockpiled food, water and shelter materials (such as tarpaulins, timber, scaffolding, galvanized sheeting and sand bags), equipment for moving debris, vehicles to assist in distribution of food and water, and generators and fuel to provide power as well as transport to affected areas. They can also provide skilled personnel to coordinate activities in addition to satellite communication equipment and office space to facilitate coordination, space for community shelters and storage space for materials at construction sites.
Construction companies can also offer a number of intangible assets that can be extremely useful to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and humanitarian agencies. These can include networks (with local government, construction companies, manufacturers and communities) and access to existing supply chains for the procurement of additional materials, all of which are invaluable to humanitarian organizations frequently operating in an unfamiliar environment.
The DRP model provides several benefits for the humanitarian community, including government involvement in managing humanitarian crises: it offers greater access to local and international expertise and resources, enhanced and accelerated scale-up capacity, and better mechanisms to monitor accountability and value for money.
The model makes it possible to develop a common language, raise awareness, share learning and engage in disaster prevention and preparedness that will further leverage the assets of the E&C community for humanitarian benefit. The partnership is also designed to create a longer-term solution by exploring how the private sector can engage professionally – not merely charitably – in the humanitarian field.
Logistics Emergency Teams
Logistics Emergency Teams deploy worldwide upon request from the United Nations Global Logistics Cluster.
Logistics Emergency Teams are provided pro bono by Agility, AP Möller-Maersk, TNT and UPS, four leading logistics companies. Facilitated by the World Economic Forum, the companies joined forces to help the humanitarian sector with emergency response to large-scale natural disasters.
Logistics Emergency Teams (LETs) have a solid track record of deployments, on the basis of agreed mechanisms and strong relationships with the UN's Global Logistics Cluster, led by the World Food Programme (WFP).
LET support through pre-agreed operating procedures and training includes provision of:
- Logistics specialists (e.g. airport coordinators, airport managers and warehouse managers)
- Logistics assets (e.g. warehouses, trucks, forklifts)
- Logistics services (e.g. airlift, trucking, customs management)
In 2008-2010, LET deployed in Chile, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines. Around 100 trained volunteers are currently on standby.
World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Disaster Management
The first decade of this millennium has shown very clearly that natural hazards present a very real and hugely underestimated danger to international peace and security, particularly in vulnerable communities with low resistance to shock events. Natural hazards not only lead to loss of precious human lives, enormous material damage, and major displacement but also significantly disrupt business activity making huge negative impacts on the community. We therefore have to invest together – important efforts in enhancing resilience of local communities, provincial authorities and central government to these natural hazards.
The Global Agenda Council on Disaster Management seeks to further explore an approach to resilience that links SMEs to a network of companies at the national, regional and international level. The rationale is that by establishing public-private partnership platforms, local government, together with SMEs and local communities could move faster to a more comprehensive recovery.