Pakistan - Earthquake: OCHA Situation Report No. 28

Ref: OCHA/GVA/-2005/0221

OCHA Situation Report No. 28
South Asia - Earthquake


The transition from military to civilian authority is gaining momentum. Pakistan Military is likely to remain engaged in management of planned camps, thereby allowing provincial authorities to concentrate on providing service support to spontaneous settlements.

The Federal Relief Commissioner is concerned about the capacity of the provincial government at the Union Council level to undertake relief operations. UN Humanitarian Hubs will be feeding back their opinions of Union Councils' capacities to the FRC.

A report from the Logistics Cluster indicates that following the 13 December earthquake with an epicentre in Afghanistan, the roads to Neelum Valley have been closed. In Battagram, the closure of the Thakot- Bana road and the Karakarum highway is causing concern, as it seriously hampers the relief operations in the Allai Valley and Kohistan.

According to the Logistics Cluster, the cumulative deliveries from the hubs to extended delivery points amount to 24,618 MTs. Since the start of the operation, UNHAS has airlifted 3,969 MTs of food, 1,442 MTs of non-food items and 11,260 passengers.

As of 14 December, 4 new Chinook cargo helicopters have been operating in Muzaffarabad with a total capacity of 1,000 MTs. UNHAS will have 4 additional helicopters which are expected to be operational within two weeks. This will bring the total number of air assets tasked by UNHAS to 23.

WFP Logistics has reported a decrease in the numbers of agencies that have booked helicopters for NFIs. NFIs in the pipeline or stored at the airport are also very limited. This is a matter of concern since NFIs and food have been prioritised for airlifting.

According to the Camp Management Cluster, the number of families coming down from the upper valleys continues to decrease. However, Battagram is an exception where there was a reported increase in recent arrivals to the Meira camp of up to 800 people daily. This has subsequently decreased. Reasons for the movement are reportedly related to the termination of compensation payments in the Allai Area.

There have been no significant population movements in Bagh. In Muzaffarabad, a rapid assessment estimated that populations are not planning to move during winter. There is anecdotal evidence that people are returning to their areas of origin.

Security concerns have arisen among NGOs working in Bagh where the local police now accompanies distributions to places where there is no military presence. In Battagram, all road movements are now to be escorted by the police. However, several NGOs have indicated that they would discontinue operations in the district if they are required to travel with a police escort.

A joint survey undertaken by UN Agencies, IOM, the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and NGOs has indicated that approximately 75% of families below 5,000 feet in NWFP and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir live in non-winterised shelter. There is a further need of 2.4 million blankets or 1.2 million quilts, and also 170,000 plastic sheetings and 200,000 tarpaulins to ensure additional thermal protection for the people and structural support for the tents.

Currently there are approximately 184,000 people in 502 spontaneous and organized camps. In a week's time, UNHCR will have enough NFIs to support 180,000 people in camps and have a contingency stock for an additional 80,000 people. 25,000 tents have been put aside by the GoP as a contingency should the need for more camps arise as a result of population movement in the coming weeks. Sites for such camps have been identified and prepared by UNHCR and GoP.

The Logistics cluster reports that at least 2,500 families living above 5,000 feet are still in need of Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheeting. Sheets are currently being shipped and are expected to arrive in the villages within a week. UNJLC reports that there appear to be no problems in obtaining a tax exemption for importing Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheeting that is clearly labelled as 'relief supplies'.

It is expected that with the onset of winter, rains and snowfalls may severely hamper road access in most of the mountainous areas in the Neelum and Kaghan Valleys within the next two weeks.


As of 16 December, the commitments and contributions against the Flash Appeal stand at USD 228,3 million (41,4 % of overall requirements). A further USD 20,3 million are pledged, which would bring the funding for the Flash Appeal to USD 248,6 million (45,1 %).



Key priorities
Key achievements/plans
Emergency Shelter Attempt to identify the remaining shelter needs of the affected population; supply emergency self-help shelter kits for affected communities above 5000 ft until December 15; supply personal insulation materials and winterisation of distributed tents. Completion of the Rapid Assessment of Shelter Security which indicated that about three-quarters of households currently residing in tents below 5000 ft outside planned camps require additional support in terms of structural and /or thermal protection.
Protection Rehabilitation of people with disabilities is a serious concern as the survey undertaken of all hospitals indicate a large number of children with amputations and women suffering from spinal injuries. A National Plan of Action for the rehabilitation of the disabled population has been prepared which, once approved by the Prime Minister, will be shared with Development Partners/ Donors for urgently needed funding.
Camp Management Establish the needs for the winterisation (NFIs) in spontaneous and planned camps.
UNHCR met with its operational partners to draft distribution plans.
Logistics Procure de-icers and sling nets, as the amount of de-icing equipment currently available is not sufficient. Soon, such equipment will become essential to all air operations.
NATO and the Swiss government have been asked for assistance in obtaining de-icers and sling nets.


1. CGI sheets have started to arrive in larger quantities in Bagh. However, there is concern over the delay in the pipeline of some of the organizations.

2. Social unrest is feared to increase in collective spontaneous camps as the winter sets in, exacerbated by congestion, cultural differences, lack of dignity in cooking and sanitation arrangements, absence of income-generating opportunities, inadequate shelter security and boredom. In planned camps, literacy classes and other outreach activities are being introduced.

3. Concerns have been expressed about the lack of livelihood programs and discussion is underway to integrate livelihood programs with ongoing emergency shelter programs.

4. The Cluster is keen on conducting a pipeline analysis to determine its capacity in order to determine delivery dates and distribution timelines.


5. UNJLC proposed the formation of a 'field steering group' to determine priorities. It was suggested that the Cluster Leads be the 'field steering group'.

6. Nets for helicopter sling load operations are still needed. 150 nets are being brought in by the U.S. military; about half of these will be offered for use by other organizations. Efforts are being made to bring in further supplies. The U.S. military is also looking into alternative delivery methods, such as cargo bags and copter boxes, which permit supplies to be parachuted down from helicopters.

7. Landslides occurred on the Kaghan road, resulting in a disruption of food deliveries for two days. Roads into highland areas of the Kaghan valley are expected to be accessible until 20 - 22 December.

8. WFP's Direct Response Teams of experienced mountaineers are in the process of assessing the most remote areas in the upper valleys where relief supplies may not have yet reached. The teams determine population figures and requirements and subsequently set up local distribution structures and ensure preparation and security of helicopter landing zones. Food is the primary reported need. However, if requested, WFP will deliver NFIs as well as food if it has the required capacity.


9. The Ministry has identified 100 basic healthcare units (BHU) to be set up in prefabricated structures. In Bagh, WHO is trying to identify a competent partner to establish and run BHU in the new camps.

10. The lack of funding continues to hamper aid efforts and numerous organisations will pull out if funds do not materialise soon.

11. The Director General of WHO visited Muzaffarabad on 11 December. The mission concluded that there are no major threat of epidemics in the quake-stricken areas of PAK, as the situation is under control and immunization campaigns are underway to protect people, especially children, from diseases. However, the mission also reported that the combination of severe cold and cramped living conditions was contributing to increased risk of hypothermia and respiratory infections.

12. The Bagh team has expressed concern over reports of Hepatitis A cases in the district where Lariyan village has reported 7 confirmed and 5 suspected cases.

13. A four member WHO team of psychiatrists and psychologists are setting up a consulting tent in the Battagram I camp representing the first of this kind of essential support.

14. A field hospital working group meeting will soon take place to discuss the exit strategy and handover of hospital facilities to provincial ministry authorities.


15. The Bagh team has expressed concern over the lack of capacity for the provision and monitoring of clean water and sanitation standards at high altitudes. In Battagram, the provision of water in the Meira camp remains a key priority and a contingency plan has been agreed for the tankering of water.


16. UNESCO has started discussions with the Government of Pakistan and the provincial governments of NWFP and Pakistan Administrated Kashmir about the strategy for early recovery of the education system, while capacity building of educational planners will start in early 2006.

17. With the support of UNESCO and UNICEF, the Directorate of Curriculum and Teacher Education is preparing a 3-day training for approximately 10,000 elementary school teachers in NWFP that will cover the earthquake response and psychosocial support that is intended to support teachers to re-enter the service.


18. The preparation of the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) is continuing. The PRRO mission started this week and will include field visits and meetings with all relevant stakeholders (Ministry of Education, FAO, World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, Donors).

19. There is concern regarding potential shortage of food when a handover from the military to civilian-run operations occurs - mainly due to the fact that capacities of civilian authorities at the Union Council level are severely constrained to cover the distribution to the extent that was possible with the military being in charge.

20. The FRC will provide maps of Union Council capabilities, which will help in determining the extent of the gap that may occur.

21. The revision of responsibilities for food distribution between the Government of Pakistan and WFP does not seem to have caused concern in Battagram. WFP are now concentrating on expanding their distribution into Kohistan and Shangla. For Allai, 61,000 are targeted beneficiaries for food supplies.

22. The Pakistan Army has seriously questioned whether enough food is being provided in Battagram. WFP have agreed to review their assessment although they already have been forced to exceed their priority caseload.


23. A National Task Force on Psycho-social Trauma has been formed by the Prime Minister and led by the Ministry of Health with the support of WHO and other partners. UNICEF is assisting with the training of community-based workers, volunteers and teachers whereas WHO is leading on training health staff and setting up referral teams. The National Task Force is also supporting the training of social workers being undertaken by the Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW).

24. Work on consolidating existing data on all vulnerable population is underway for both camps and affected areas. A technical working group has been set up to this end with the participation of MoSW, FRC, UNICEF, UNFPA and Pakistan Council.

25. Concerns to set up systems for monitoring the human rights situation are also being addressed, including mechanisms for reporting any abuses that may be reported.

26. UNHCR has started working with local organisations in Muzaffarabad to speed up the establishment of community mobilizing teams in the area.


27. The Regional Relief Commissioner and the army met to discuss the camp management handover strategy that would include both, planned and spontaneous camps.

28. In Bagh, a meeting took place to discuss contingency planning scenarios in case people are forced to relocate due to delay in shelter kits delivery or harsh winter conditions.

29. Camp Management Organization (CMO) and UNHCR are finalizing plans for decongesting and relocation of spontaneous camps in Muzaffarabad. CMO has provided a list of 13 newly approved camps for relocation purposes.

30. It is unclear when the Commissioner for Afghan Refugees (CAR) will take over the camp management from the army. Although CAR staff is currently present in Jaba, Bassian and Shohal Najaf camps, amongst others, the army remains in charge.

31. Two sites have been cleared by UNHCR in Bagh to establish the first planned camps that are intended to alleviate the conditions of some of the spontaneous camps and to accommodate populations who could be coming down from the mountains.

32. Afghan refugees have assisted in camp winterisation by showing local populations the methods of building mud walls around stoves for fire safety.


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

34. 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 (

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

36. 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
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