October 13 - Three of the biggest corporate names in global logistics - Agility, TNT and UPS - have joined international efforts to expedite supplies to hundreds of thousands of people affected by natural disasters in Asia.

The three logistics giants are collaborating with WFP to move food assistance to those worst affected by flooding in the Philippines and an earthquake in Padang, Indonesia. WFP plans to provide assistance to about one million people in the Philippines affected by extensive flooding caused by cyclone Ketsana, which severed roads, bridges and closed airports. 

In Padang, Indonesia, WFP is working to assist Government following the devastating earthquake last week which severed roads and bridges, making emergency response to remote areas a major logistics challenge. This initial work was facilitated by the immediate response of Agility.

"By helping WFP ensure food supplies reach people affected by these natural disasters as quickly as possible, these companies are playing a lead role in helping save lives," said Peter French, WFP Deputy Regional Director for Asia. "The expertise and resources they are providing come at a critical time and are invaluable."

Agility, UPS, and TNT, work together in an initiative called the Logistics Emergency Teams, or LETs. The initiative capitalises on each company's ongoing operations nearest to the site where humanitarian response is needed. By using these local resources during times of crises, such as warehouse management and transport capabilities, WFP's response is quicker and more effective.

On this occasion, the LETs companies donated trucks and warehousing resources as well as logistics staff and coordination services. All staff deployed by the companies have augmented WFP's response and are provided free of charge.