UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 14 (Day 32)
As of 1800 hours local, Wednesday, November 9th, 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 was produced daily from October 17th – 22nd but as the emergency has matured was produced with effect from October 24th on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This will apply until further notice.
Summary and Highlights
- Operation Winter Race, a joint operation involving IOM, the IFRC, UNHAS and UNJLC, is proceeding as planned but was stood down over Eid Al-Fitr to rest staff and develop lessons learned.
- A second crossing at the Line of Control has opened but the routes are not yet a significant logistics alternative.
- About 100 Russian-made jeeps are available from UNOPS, through UNJLC, for NGO’s operating in the field.
- UNJLC’s cargo movement service will expand by week’s to encompass ground transport with interagency assets.
- Activation and Deployment
- Operation Winter Race
- Eastern Access: Line of Control
- Russian Jeeps Available for NGO’s
- Air Cargo Clearance and Concessions
- Airport Slot Management
- Expanded Cargo Movement Service
1. Activation and Deployment
As the emergency response enters its second month, UNJLC staffing in Pakistan now totals 30 individuals, comprising 20 international staff and ten national staff. Additionally, two Pakistani liaison officers (one from the Civil Defence and one military), a four-man UK Ministry of Defence Long Range Planning Cell, provided by the UK’s Department for International Development, and four local volunteers, are working within the UNJLC structure.
Staffing is expected to increase to 36 within a week, all national staff. Most of these six individuals will support the expanded cargo booking service (See Bulletin 13, item 2) and field operations in the affected area.
A further six longer term international staff, net of those who will replace staff rotated out and excluding fuels and customs and immigration experts who may visit on short missions, are expected in the second half of November. Half of these may be Officers for deployment to the field; the remainder are a further GIS Officer for Islamabad and staff to work on cargo co-ordination and NFI tracking (See Bulletin 2, item 1).
Field locations covered or planned to be covered include the hubs of Muzaffarabad, Mansehra, Bagh and Chatterplain (about 20km south of Batagram on the Karakorum Highway), and the main supply base of Abbottabad.
2. Operation “Winter Race”
Operation Winter Race (See Bulletins 11 and 12 of November 2nd and 4th respectively), an interagency operation to reach and supply the most vulnerable affected people in the remotest areas, particularly those without road access, was stood down over the Eid Al-Fitr period to assess methods and adjust planning for lessons learned. Those staff who were leading the operation in the field also needed rest after intensive days under trying conditions in the field.
This initiative is developing into one of the most noted aspects of the emergency response. Further staffing and supplies are needed to allow the operation to realise its full potential, with only a two-week window of opportunity before severe weather sets in. The service is delivering shelter supplies, food and medical assistant from IOM and the IFRC to many of the most vulnerable of the estimated 200,000 people in the most inaccessible locations.
3. Eastern Access: The Line of Control
Further to the opening of the Rawalakhot-Poonch crossing point between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control (see Bulletin 12, item 5) a second of the five mooted crossing points has now been opened at Chakoti-Uri. Known as the Kaman Post, this is slightly north of the Rawalakhot-Poonch crossing and was the crossing point for a bus service that had been reinstated between the two countries in April.
Neither crossing point has yet developed as a significant alternate logistics route to the east of the affected area of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Relief supplies are moving across at both locations but in modest quantities. Civilians are not yet allowed to cross either way. NGO access is still unclear.
4. Russian Jeeps Available for NGO’s
UNOPS (UN Office for Project Services) is making available approximately 100 Russian-made left-hand-drive jeeps (see picture at right) for use by humanitarian organisations, particularly NGO’s, involved in the relief effort.
The vehicles were previously used to support the recent Afghan elections and were overhauled prior to shipment to Pakistan. They are well-suited to rough mountain roads and mechanically easy to maintain. Basic specifications are seven seats (including two jump seats), petrol engine and roof rack.
UNOPS is levying a cost recovery charge of US$4000 dollars per vehicle to transfer ownership. As of today, seven are waiting to be distributed in Islamabad and 22 more will soon be made available.
Application forms for the jeeps can be accessed through UNJLC in Islamabad. These can be downloaded from the UNJLC website at www.unjlc.org/pakistan/land/transport or can be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com.
Priority will be given to those agencies requesting jeeps for use in field operations outside of Islamabad.
5. Air Cargo Clearance and Concessions
Several questions have arisen from the NGO community regarding procedures and concessions for the clearance of humanitarian cargo at Islamabad International Airport. It had been reported at the Logistics Cluster meeting – chaired by WFP and held 8:30a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the WFP Afghanistan Liaison Office premises, near UNJLC’s offices – that the ‘emergency’ procedures put in place at Islamabad International airport had been revoked.
UNJLC’s Airport Team has checked with the Pakistani authorities on the matter and have been advised that the situation is unchanged and that there has been no alteration of the procedures. However, that part of the Pakistani bureaucracy responsible for issuing the “No Objection Certificate”, to allow duty free import of humanitarian goods, may change in the near future from the Federal Relief Commission to the Emergency Relief Cell of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is understood to be purely an administrative arrangement which will not affect the concessions or the basic procedures. Customs and Excise procedures continue to remain the same: all cargo related to the relief operation arriving into Pakistan does not attract Customs duty. Refer to www.unjlc.org/pakistan/customs/ for further information.
However, the humanitarian community is requested to co-ordinate their movements closely with the airport authorities to avoid misunderstandings and delays. Each agency is solely responsible for complying with local of Customs and local transport formalities at the arrival point. Inbound cargo for the relief operation will only be accepted and handled if both the consignor and consignee comply with the established procedures.
The consignee and/or the NGO needs to be physically present with all the required documentation to receive their cargo.
About 100 Russia-made jeeps, provided by UNOPS ex-Afghanistan,, are available through UNJLC for NGO’s working in the field. Known as “Olgas”, these petrol-powered vehicles are particularly suited to the terrain in the affected area and are relatively easy to maintain.
6. Airport Slot Management
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for slot management at Islamabad has been completed and has been placed on the UNJLC website.
Aircraft have been consistently arriving at Chaklala without first obtaining the necessary military clearance and consequently without a slot request being filed. The PAF has been most accommodating to date with unannounced incoming aircraft. This may not continue as they seek to reimpose the necessary discipline on a crowded airfield. When the tarmac at Chaklala is full with parked, unloading or taxi-ing aircraft, or VIP movements are in process or planned, flights without a slot may be put in a holding pattern or asked to divert to another airport, with associated extra costs.
A steady flow of aircraft with relief-related personnel or goods continues to arrive and the tarmac at Chaklala Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base in Islamabad has been utilised to the maximum. The PAF Operations Room controlling the movement applies quite some creativity in order to accommodate the various types of aircraft, particularly the larger AN-225, AN-124’s, B-747’s C-17’s and DC 10/30F’s, in addition to the smaller C-130’s.
7. Expanded Cargo Movement Service
As noted in Bulletin 13, item 2, UNJLC will add ground transport of humanitarian goods by interagency trucking assets to its current service of booking air cargo movement by UNHAS helicopters. This service is expected to be operational by the end of the week once the necessary staff and premises are in place.
Users may access this service by downloading the standard Cargo Movement Request from the UNJLC website and sending it to UNJLC. Goods (unless they are particularly precious or urgent) will be trucked to forward hubs and only flown further forward if it is not possible to move them to their final destination by road.