Source UNJLC
Countries Pakistan
Document type Other

UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 13 (Day 30)
As of 1800 hours local, Monday, November 7th, 2005

UNJLC Bulletins aim to provide a clear and concise regular overview of the situation as it exists in the earthquake-affected area of Pakistan and contiguous areas with regards to logistics matters affecting relief work by the humanitarian community. They focus on practical issues that affect the welfare of the afflicted populace and related humanitarian work such as the status of transport routes for humanitarian supplies and personnel into the area, relevant administrative or commercial developments, air (including strategic airlift and helicopter operations), Customs and immigration matters, and availability of accommodation and fuels. They further seek to identify major issues for the humanitarian community and other interested parties, to provide relevant background and constructive recommendations on current issues, and to alert responsible parties to emerging issues. This bulletin has been produced daily since October 17th but as the emergency enters its third week will be produced on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with effect from October October 24th, until further notice.

Summary and Highlights

  • At the request of the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, UNJLC will conduct NFI pipeline tracking on behalf of the humanitarian community in order to help determine the nature and extent of logistics required as the emergency response continues through the winter.
  • UNJLC will organise a coordinated cargo booking system, using pooled ground transport assets from IOM and Atlas Logistique, and UNHAS helicopters, to optimise the use of available transport resources. A key driver for this is to relieve helicopters of the task of transporting goods to destinations that can be readily served by road. 
  • The nominal cargo carrying capacity of the combined Pakistani and international rotary wing fleet deployed to the emergency is estimated to now exceed 400 tonnes. About half of the further 154 tonnes of capacity known to be in the pipeline is largely dependent on donor funding.

1.    Non-Food Item Pipeline Tracking
2.    Optimisation of Transport Resources
3.    Air Safety: Field Procedures
4.    Rotary Wing Aircraft: Overview

1.   Non-Food Item (NFI) Pipeline Tracking

UNJLC has been requested by Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, Mr. Jan Egeland, to attempt to monitor the flow of Non-Food Items (NFI) provided by the relief community to the disaster area.

This task is vital from two perspectives:

  • For operational planning, a clear picture of what aid is flowing and what aid will arrive (and when) is necessary to determine the logistical support requirements for transport and storage in the coming months. This will shape the level and nature of support required, and funding needs; and
  • For accountability, it is important that a transparent view of the items provided to support the affected population is available to the Government of Pakistan, its people, and the international community.

To accomplish this, the Chaklala-based UNJLC Airport Team is working with the airport authorities, airlines and transporters to compile a list of NFI items received. This work will also help the airport authorities clear cargo they have not yet been able to identify or which has not yet been collected by consignee agencies.
Resources permitting, UNJLC may also expand coverage of this operation to the port of Karachi to monitor the ‘sea-bridge’ over the winter period.

2.    Optimisation of Transport Resources

In order to make the most efficient and effective use of all transport assets deployed, particularly the expensive rotary wing fleet, UNJLC, at the request of the Chair of the Logistics Cluster, will establish an interagency cargo booking system that optimises the use of available assets. To do this, it will expand the cargo booking function considerably.

Basically, bookings for the trucking assets of both IOM and French NGO Atlas Logistique and the UNHAS helicopter fleet will be received by UNJLC on a generic Cargo Movement Request Form. This form will cover both cargos that would ordinarily travel by road and cargo that is usually (or in the past has been) flown.

Using an established set of priorities and taking into account the nature and urgency of the cargo, UNJLC will then determine the mode of transport and make the appropriate booking with either IOM or Atlas for ground cargo, or UNHAS for air cargo.

In general, the intention is to push most cargo forward on the good roads to the main supply base at Abbottabad and to the hubs beyond, and to then fly cargo only if it is not possible to truck it beyond that, or use other suitable ground transport. This coordinated approach will endeavour to eliminate the use of helicopters to lift cargo from Islamabad and focus the air cargo capacity on the forward areas that are inaccessible by roads, where it is most needed.
This system is possible only now as storage capacity is established in the forward supply bases and hubs. Such storage provides a buffer which compensates for the longer transport time required of ground transport over air.

Cargo which is particularly urgent or valuable, or which is unsuitable for overland transport, may still be flown from Islamabad. This may use the helicopters that provide passenger services to key locations in the field or specially tasked aircraft. Users will have to make a solid case for such use of air assets.

The revised system will also make more effective use of IOM and Atlas resources by allowing coordinated and “fit for mission” tasking. In other words, it can avoid an IOM and an Atlas truck both being sent independently on the same day to the same location. It may further allow specialisation with the use of bigger and more efficient trucks to Abbottabad and the hubs and smaller trucks to the final delivery points. The overall trucking fleet can be spread more effectively over the area and better use can be made of storage capacity. Furthermore, where security requirements suggest that trucks should not travel alone, the system will allow easier convoy formation and security co-ordination.

Should other organisations elect to pool their assets with this system, UNJLC will be able to accommodate this. Interagency pooling of resources, where one agency may carry another agency’s cargo, and have its cargo hauled by others, has proven to be an effective use of scarce transport resources, if properly managed.

Further details on how the service may be accessed will be published shortly on the UNJLC website. 

3.     Air Safety: Field Procedures

The extensive use of helicopter assets in the relief operation poses an additional safety hazard, particularly in forward operating areas beyond the reach of air traffic control. In addition to respecting instructions from ground staff in helicopter operating areas, safety advice from UNHAS is posted on both the UNJLC website,, and that of the Humanitarian Information Centre,, should be followed strictly.

Several avoidable on-the-ground helicopter-related casualties have already occurred in the past month. All agency operations coordinators are encouraged to disseminate this information as widely as possible.

4.    Rotary Wing Aircraft: Overview

The number of helicopters actually deployed has increased marginally in the past week (click here to see the table and Bulletin 10 of 31st October) by only six, but the shift to heavier lift aircraft means that the nominal cargo capacity of the fleet has increased by about 50 tonnes.

There appears to be no further aircraft in the pipeline other than those noted below although there are indications that the Australian military may provide a number of machines.

It is probable that the actual cargo capacity will remain constant as some of the incoming US CH-47’s may replace machines presently deployed and funding for additional UNHAS Mi-8’s and Mi-26’s is not in place. Also, the British CH-47’s current tasked by UNHAS are slated to operate only through to late November.