Alliance continues Pakistan relief

  • 08 Dec. 2005 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 22 May. 2009 15:53

NATO’s short-term relief mission is focused on delivering assistance to as many survivors of the 8 October earthquake as possible, helping to pave the way for other agencies to begin longer-term assistance and reconstruction.

In practice, this means the stabilization of the surviving population and helping them prepare to endure the winter season. This focuses our work on engineering projects, the provision of medical help, and water purification. It encompasses enabling activities to provide schools, maintain open roads, and restore medical facilities. At the same time, NATO continues to deliver aid forward to the Bagh/Arja area by helicopter.

The NATO Disaster Response Team Land Component managing the medical and engineering projects in Bagh area consists of one Spanish and one Polish light engineer units; one Italian engineer unit with heavy construction equipment; one British engineer unit specialised in high altitude relief work; a NATO field hospital led by the Dutch Army including French, Czech, Portuguese and British personnel; and four water purification teams, one Spanish and three Lithuanian.

NATO’s engineers are working on schools and medical facilities; producing potable water in the Bagh area; repairing roads between Arja and Bagh; and building schools and medical health clinics in the Malot area. NATO’s engineers are also supporting the Pakistani Army in Operation Winter Race. The aim of this operation is to set up winterised shelters for the population living in the mountains before the snow sets in.

NATO’s field hospital, located in the area of Bagh, has treated more than 3200 patients. (Around 150 -160 patients are treated daily). The mobile medical units have treated so far more than 1200 patients. (Approximately 75 patients per day); and the field hospital continues to send mobile medical teams up into the mountains. To date 52 surgeries have been conducted.

NATO’s helicopters are flying up to 67 tons of relief goods daily to remote mountain villages (a total of 800 tons so far) and evacuating victims before the winter sets in. They have so far evacuated more than 1,500 disaster victims from mountainous areas.

NATO’s air bridge has flown more than 3000 tons of tents, blankets, stoves and food to Pakistan with over 150 flights so far. These flights have carried some 16,000 tents, 500,000 blankets, nearly 7000 stoves/heaters, more than 17,000 beds/mattresses, tons of medical supplies, and more.

This is the second time that NATO has conducted an emergency relief operation. The first time was earlier this year when the United States requested NATO’s assistance for the relief effort following Hurricane Katrina. Now NATO is conducting this humanitarian relief operation at the request of the Pakistani government and working quickly to help the people of Pakistan.