LONDON Oct 19 (APP)-
A chartered Pakistan International Airlines cargo flight, loaded with emergency relief goods, donated by the UK charities and Britons for the quake-striken people will depart for Islamabad here on Friday, said Pakistan’s envoy to Britain Dr. Maleeha Lodhi on Wednesday.
She said this while talking to a delegation of Disasters Emergency Committee of Britain at the Pakistan High Commission here today which was attended, among others by Chief Executive of the Committee Brendan Gormley, Head of Christian Aid Emergencies Nick Guttmann, Head of Islamic Relief Abdul Aziz Rajab-Ali,Save The Children, Care International UK,British Red Cross, World Vision UK and Concern.
Another PIA flight is scheduled to leave for the Federal Capital a week after Friday hence Dr. Lodhi urged all the charities to donate the needed items like blankets, tenets and life-saving drugs.
She said the PIA in close coordination with Pakistan High Commission planned to fly another four chartered flights, depending on availability of the relief goods, said the envoy while giving the delagation an update on the rescue and relief operation underway in the quake-affected areas in Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas.
Dr. Lodhi told them the authorities had operated 1247 sorties to the quake- hit areas and plucked 16192 injured people and brought them to the hospitals. She said 18 field hospitals had been set up in the quake-affected areas while the number of helicopters engaged in the relief work now had soared from 12 to 61 choppers.
She said the purpose of the meeting was to better coordinate the relief efforts being carried in the UK to deal with the colossal tragedy. Given enormity of the devastation, she said, no government alone could deal with it alone.
The envoy thanked the charity organizations on behalf of the Government. She appealed them not only to continue their endeavours but also to do more for providing relief and support rehabilitation of the survivors.
She said the Government would take care of the orphans and women affected by the natural catastrophe and would not allow unscrupulous people to exploit the situation. An effort is underway to register both the children and women to have an idea how many of them were destitute because many of them were being looked after by their families.
Giving them a quick run-down on the rescue and relief operation, Dr.Lodhi said the authorities had been able to reach 90 per affected areas while 80 per cent roads had been opened but these remain vulnerable to landslides. Without help of the voluntary organizations, British public and the international community, this would not have been possible hence the Government was thankful to all of them. However she conceded that given the difficult terrain, the picture looked grim and provision of relief was time-consuming and difficult.
Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan High Commission Abdul Basit in his brief remarks said that small charities who themselves could not afford to transports the emergency supplies to Pakistan, could do so free of cost by PIA Cargo Service but only after getting authorization letter from the High Commission. But the goods their consignment should be properly packed and marked and would have to delivered direct to PIA Cargo.
In their brief remarks representatives of various Charities apprised Dr. Lodhi of their relief efforts to help the quake -victims.
Chief Executive of Disasters Emergency Committee Britain Brendan Gormley said he had already raised £15 million Pounds while their target was to collect £20 million for the earthquake afflicted people.
The representative of British Red Cross Inmaculanda Lopez said they had spent all money they had to provide relief to the victims. They had already set up two Field Hospitals, each with a hundred capacity, in the quake hit areas. The organization would also procure 20,000 tents from China which would reach the area within two to three weeks.
She said ICRC had also launched an appeal to raise an additional £16 million for the victims.
Aziz Ali from Islamic Relief which was operating in Bagh, Muzaffarabad and Balakot said time was running out fast hence emergency supplies had to be provided to the affected people before the sever weather.
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan