Pakistan - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 27

Ref: OCHA/GVA/2005-0219

OCHA Situation Report No. 27
South Asia - Earthquake


It is estimated that a minimum of 2.5 million people are now living in tents or in emergency/ transitional shelters below 5000ft. There are still 350,000- 400,000 people remaining at 'risk areas' in higher elevations.

Although the Pakistan military continues to plan for larger numbers, the Federal Relief Commissioner (FRC) estimates that fewer than 100,000 people will move to lower elevations and are expected to relocate by 10 December or not at all.

Contingency planning for mass-migration is currently underway with clusters having already established groups in the field to confirm planning assumptions, as well as conduct risk assessments, caseload verification and stockpile mapping in close collaboration with local civil authorities.

In Batagram area, between 300-500 people per day appear to be moving down, which is a rate that can be currently absorbed. In Balakot, a significant reduction in migration patterns has been indicated. In Muzaffarabad, it seems that the population is not keen on moving down. In Bagh, there are no signs of population movements.

According to the Government, currently there are 502 camps in North West Frontier Province and Pakistan Administered Kashmir with a total population of 187,506. Out of this number, 30 are planned camps with a population of 36,000 people and are supported by the camp management cluster.

Out just over 2.5 million people in need of food assistance, 1 million will be covered by WFP, 1.5 million by the Government and 150,000 by ICRC.

The greatest threat to the general health situation is the poor sanitation situation in spontaneous camps. FRC has tasked the Minister of Health to improve the sanitation conditions in these camps. Improving latrine quality is the main objective, as major concerns of the health cluster remain the lack of purification of water sources and hygiene education.

Provision of corrugated iron sheets (CGI) remains a priority. There is a shortage of CGIs in Pakistan, which has resulted in price increases. Several agencies are looking into the option of importing CGI sheeting. Clarification still needs to be obtained on whether such shipments fall within the customs waivers granted by the Government of Pakistan for the relief effort. UNJLC is investigating the matter.

Access to the affected areas will be severely hampered as winter conditions worsen. Although good weather conditions for incoming flights this week have been reported from Muzaffarabad, the overall logistics planning assumption is that there will be a loss of one third of total flying days due to adverse weather conditions and that the tertiary roads will shortly be inaccessible. This would increase dependence on more basic transportation means such as mules.

To date, NATO has transported 2,936.4 tons of relief goods. NATO has moved 741,8 tons of bilateral donations via 24 flights and 2,156.6 tons of UN donations via 129 flights, as well as 1 military flight carrying a helicopter from Luxembourg for UN purposes. The total value of the air-bridge until today is estimated at more than EUR 15 million.


Committed contributions to the UN Flash Appeal, as of 8 December, have reached US$ 209.1 million (38%) out of the US$550 million requested. A total of US$22.7 million has been pledged. This brings the total contributions and pledges to US$231.8 million (42,2% of the requested amount).

Most of the cluster lead agencies are expressing concern that unless pledges continue to be made, emergency operations will be seriously hampered. Logistics and Health Clusters have projects on standby that are entirely dependent on the materialization of pledged money.



Key priorities
Key achievements/plans
Emergency Shelter
Provision of self-help shelter repair materials, related NFIs for heating and winterisation of tents for communities in the 5000-7000 ft zone, provision of emergency self help kits in lower inaccessible highland zones. Formulation of the winterisation strategy and the Technical Guidelines for winterisation.
35,000 self-help shelter kits distributed under 'Winter Race'.
'Winter Race' coverage above 5000 ft appears to be 100% complete.
17,600 stoves installed with more than 68,000 in pipeline.
Preventing evolvement of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) into complex pneumonia. 100 basic Health Units and 20 Rural Health Centres to be provided with prefabricated structures before January 15th.
Establishment of two new field hospitals, one in Allai Valley and the other in Neelum Valley.
Total number of foreign field hospitals now stands at 18.
Camp Management
Camp maintenance, winterisation and contingency camp planning for winter.
Emergency response units in field hubs that are responsible for cleanup and decongesting have been established.
19 mobile teams have been deployed to date.
Distributed 526,000 blankets, trained military and civil authorities in camp management techniques.
Prepared contingency plans for best-case scenario with expected numbers of additional people in camps - 30,000; most likely scenario - 60,000; and worst case scenario - 150,000.
Securing the shipment of additional helicopter nets to allow for swing load operations is deemed essential- as is the procurement of de-icers to ensure minimum time is wasted in helicopter startup. UNJLC, on behalf of UNHAS/WFP, has approached NATO and the Swiss government to provide such equipment. WFP is investigating commercial options as well.
There are currently 20 nets in use, 20 more nets arrived on the 5th of December and 50 more have been procured.


1. Key issues are land tenure and winterization of tents in spontaneous settlements and camps. Accelerated distribution of non-food items (NFIs), particularly of plastic sheeting, CGIs, blankets and stoves is required.

2. A key challenge is to continue 'Winter Race' in areas above 5000ft and to re-direct 'Winter Race' to vulnerable areas below 5000ft.


3. Requests for air cargo movements are expected to increase. UNHAS is predicting requests for up to 6,500 Metric Tonnes (MT) of food and 1,500 MT of Non-Food Items (NFI) per month. The estimated deterioration of road conditions and the resulting increase in NFI air movement requests have been taken into account in calculating these numbers. Currently, the priority split food/NFI is fixed at 70% and 30% respectively. A prioritisation scheme by valley as opposed to an overall priority split is under discussion.

4. Emergency repairs on the roads are not expected to ensure access through the winter. In the Neelum Valley, two landslides are reported near Batmang and Naseri. In the Kagan Valley, rockslides are reported near Karai, Paras and Jareed. traffic is reduced to one-way in various locations causing delays.

5. In line with the need to establish helipads, there are now 225 potential sites identified for possible helipad sites from an initial 15 sites.


6. Reaching the populations above the snowline is an immediate challenge. Three health cluster partners have expressed willingness to work above the 5,000ft mark providing health care support throughout winter.

7. Field hospitals are reporting fewer cases of trauma and the bed occupancy rate has dropped to 30%. However, inability of some patients to access hospitals could also explain the drop in numbers. Overall, the health situation remained stable this week with no reported outbreaks of any major diseases.

8. The considerable drop in temperatures and the onset of snow increased the incidence of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) as expected. The goal now is to ensure that winterized shelter is provided in order to stop the ARI from developing into more complicated pneumonia. There has been one confirmed death of a three-month-old baby from pneumonia who had been left untreated at home.

9. Isolated outbreaks of measles had been reported from the affected areas that were addressed by an extensive vaccination campaign that has curbed further spread.

10. There is a need to start improving maternal and neo-natal health in Pakistan Administrated Kashmir that was dismal prior to the earthquake. The opportunity exists now to improve maternal heath services with 9 service units providing facilities to pregnant women funded by UNFPA. However the lack of female staff is proving to be a challenge.


11. Forty percent of the overall population and 90% of the camp population are receiving safe water. 4,000 latrines have been installed, while 60,000 are in the pipeline.


12. The main priorities are to carry out teacher training to encourage the return of the teaching staff to schools, and to build field level capacity for the implementation and enhancement of cluster coordination.

13. There has been a gradual increase in the number of schools, however the pipeline would determine how many can be operational. 4,500 school tents are expected to be delivered shortly. 1,740 school-in-a-box kits have been delivered and additional 2,000 are in the pipeline and should be available by end of December.

14. An increasing concern is the lack of education support to secondary school children and the need to address school feeding.


15. Only 39,000 people in need of protection have been registered to date since the government's capacity is greatly constrained in terms of human resources and equipment.


16. The cluster is taking steps for contingency planning for possible new influxes of people from high altitudes and new sites are being identified and prepared, while existing sites are being expanded to accommodate 50,000 additional people. Winterization of camps is also underway.


17. According to the report of the natural resources expert deployed by OCHA/UNEP, there is a concern that firewood and timber required for shelter and house reconstruction could pose a threat to the scarce forest resources, and unsustainable exploitation of the limited forest resources would increase the risk of additional landslides, erosion and floods. Recommended actions to mitigate these risks include identifying local solutions to supply the displaced people in the tented villages with the appropriate energy (e.g. kerosene, electricity) and stoves and having experts advise and train NGOs in charge of the camp management in the appropriate energy and stove selection for a specific site and the proper handling of stoves and fuel.


18. All detailed cluster information (meeting minutes, assessments, contact information etc.) is being posted on

19. The latest information on projects and funding for the Flash Appeal, and for the emergency overall, can be found on the Financial Tracking Service ( information on earthquake appeals and funding is available on ReliefWeb (

20. Contact details of focal points for information on in-kind and cash contributions can be found at

21. OCHA will revert with further information as it becomes available. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Tel.: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Ms. Merete Johansson, direct Tel. +41-22-9171694
Mr. Anvar Munavvarov, direct Tel. +41-22 917 1669

Press contact:

(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. + 1-917 367 5126


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit