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Latest Update From Care International Council For Pakistan

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Omar Biabani

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:07 am    Post subject: Latest update from CARE International Council for Pakistan Reply with quote

Dear CARE International Council for Pakistan members--This morning (October 27th) members of the CICP steering committee spoke with Pancho Boeren, CARE International's team leader for the earthquake response in Pakistan. The one-hour conversation ranged over a number of topics. I have attached a brief summary.

With thanks for all you have done and continue to do to assist the earthquake victims.

Sarita Gupta Executive Director, Presidential Initiatives CARE 212-686-2756

Notes from a conversation with Pancho Boeren, CARE International Team Leader in Pakistan for the Earthquake Response October 27, 2005

General Situation

• Death toll increasing dramatically each day, not only because more earthquake casualties are being found, but also due to landmines. 500 deaths in last 8 days in the Allai Valley where CARE is working due to landmines dislocated by the earthquake. Other deaths attributable to lack of medical attention.

• 600,000 houses destroyed by the quake. Many people have found shelter with relatives; others continue to live in partially damaged buildings; and others have moved to cities like Islamabad. Estimated current need for shelter is for 300,000 households (approx. 3 million people).

• Relief is pouring in and has exceeded the capacity of the Islamabad airport. There is a 2-week delay for shipments of goods other than tents, which have been given priority.

Tents & Shelter

• Here’s the math on tents, shelter and essential supplies needed to equip a family for the next six months, estimated at $1,000 per household:

-Cost of a regular tent $100
-Cost of an adequate tent
(double roofed, sturdy canvas, can last
6 months daily use by a family) 300
-Cost of winterized tent (watertight,
lined, insulated floor, built on platform) 500
-Quilts, blankets, other essential supplies
to sustain a household through winter 500

• CARE plans to provide shelter for 11,000 households (approx. 90,000 people). We plan to distribute 8,500 tents, and assist 2,500 families to stabilize and winterize makeshift shelters that they are forming from salvaged materials. CARE is providing shelter in the remote Allai Valley, considered the most difficult area to access. The only way to bring supplies to many of the Allai Valley communities is via helicopter.

Other CARE Interventions

• Medical Assistance to 450,000 people: A bottleneck is forming at city hospitals where patients and their relatives are refusing to leave after receiving treatment either because they have nowhere else to go, or they want to ensure their follow up care. This means new patients cannot get the treatment they need. In response, CARE is working with three local partners and the Pakistan Ministry of Health to set up half-way centers of 80-100 beds each. Patients and relatives are guaranteed food, simple nursing and follow up care. CARE has set up the centers in 4 cities, and the service will reach 450,000 people.

• Debris Management in Muzaffrabad: The city has a large number of damaged or destroyed buildings and the environmentally sound management of the debris has become a significant issue. CARE is working with UNESCO and local government staff to resolve the issue.

CARE Partners

• On health interventions: AWAZ, Sunghi and EPS (Environment Protection Society)

• On relief distribution in Shangla: ActionAid

• On relief & rehabilitation in NWFP and AK: RSPN and its vast network.

Unmet Needs

• Trauma Counseling. CARE developed a model during the Gujarat earthquake of 2001 and the recent tsunami of training volunteers in communities to provide psychosocial counseling, and to identify the more severe cases who might need professional intervention. CARE is seeking $300,000 to begin this service in Pakistan, the need for which will become more acute once the immediate shelter needs are resolved.


Tent Pipeline: CARE has received 1,500 tents to date and has 7,500 on order with Pakistani tent manufacturers. The State Government of Punjab issued in yesterday’s newspapers a public notice that announces an official ban on the sale and supply of tents “…. of all varieties/types to private parties, NGO and all other Agencies with immediate effect till 30th November 2005”. It further states that “…. all tent manufacturers will henceforth supply the tents to the Government for setting up tent villages and also for immediate delivery to the Earthquake Affectees”. The notice ends with a threat that “any violation of the ban will be dealt with under law”. Tent manufacturers confirmed the government’s ban today.

The Punjab province is the supply center of tents for all of Pakistan. This imposition will cut off tent supply to the NGOs, and thus may seriously hinder relief operations aiming to reach millions of people in the remote villages who lack shelter. CARE, other NGOs and the UN are monitoring the situation closely. We don’t know if the ban applies to new purchases only or also to tents already ordered.

Tent Cities: The Government of Pakistan is planning to construct tent camps in valley bottoms, and urging people to come down from higher elevations. While this may make relief provision easier, CARE is concerned about the immediate problems of sanitation, lack of livelihoods, and lack of privacy that large groupings of people create. Longer-term, the potential exists for creating large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). And, CARE believes people have the right to determine where they want to live, and should not be forced into settling somewhere else.

Logistics: CARE has chosen to provide relief to some of the most remote communities of Allai Valley. For this we are totally dependent on government helicopters. One helicopter can only carry 50 tents, and heavy rains can cancel a flight. CARE is working with the UN to get more helicopter flights.
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