A helping hand in times of need

The UPU's Edouard Dayan talking with Haitian postal employees in July 2010.

From earthquakes and tsunamis to floods and hurricanes, when catastrophe strikes, the postal service often serves as a lifeline for victims. In recent years, the world has seen its share of natural disasters, with devastating effects on populations and countries’ communication infrastructure, including postal networks

As part of the United Nations, the UPU is there to help maintain postal communication when a Post is hit by catastrophe. Emergency aid projects help meet affected Posts' immediate needs and restore postal services. Such projects are financed from the Union’s limited development cooperation budget, so international solidarity becomes critical.

Member countries often generously donate expertise, money and equipment. Many of them also donate financial credits from their Quality of Service Fund resources for specific projects..

UPU regional coordinators are mobilized to assess the damage to a country's postal infrastructure and determine how to reestablish service. Relief efforts are closely coordinated with regional postal organizations and United Nations aid agencies on the ground.

In the past 10 years, the UPU has helped many countries hit by natural disasters, as well as those emerging from war. From the South Asian tsunami to the Pakistan earthquake, via Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and post-war recovery in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Union has funded and delivered emergency assistance to restore postal services quickly.

 

Speeding up help

In 2010, the UPU decided to create an Emergency and Solidarity Fund to respond more rapidly to Posts' need for assistance when struck by natural disasters.