Source UNJLC
Theme
Countries Pakistan
Document type Other
Publication date 21/10/2005

UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 5 (Day 13)
As of 1800 hours local, October 21st, 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 immediate 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 will be produced daily until further notice.

CONTENT:

1.  Airport Congestion

2.  The NATO Air Bridge

3.  UNHAS Passenger Service

4.  Import of Light Humanitarian Vehicles

5.  Pakistani Government Emergency Cell

6.  Road Access

1.  Airport Congestion

Islamabad Airport, the major international airport closest to the disaster area, experienced significant congestion during the first week after the earthquake and into the second. However, the peak may now be past. Although there are still goods awaiting clearance and pick up, the number of pallets on the tarmac awaiting collection is reducing daily.

There are reports of congestion at Peshawar and Lahore airports, the two largest airports nearest to Islamabad.

There are indications of cargo congestion in airports as far afield as Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok with goods destined for Islamabad and Karachi. The recent lesser congestion at Islamabad may be due to freight forwarders holding back cargos until they can be sure of getting a landing slot or freight space and getting the cargoes cleared quickly. Anecdotal evidence suggests that UN agencies may be keen for planned flights to proceed (for example, from the NATO airbridge) regardless of whether this contributes to congestion at the ramp but NATO is keen not to send in flights unless the cargo can be moved on quickly. As such, there may well be a second wave of supplies offshore yet to arrive.

The Islamabad airport complex comprises the civilian side, which caters for international and domestic civilian passenger and cargo flights, and the military side, known as Chaklala. International military cargo flights such as those engaged on the NATO airbridge land at Chaklala from where they are trucked or flown north. Cargos carried by Pakistani and foreign military helicopters to the affected area operate from Chaklala.

On the southwest outskirts of Islamabad, the Pakistan Army Aviation Base at Qasim serves as a helicopter overnighting laager, given a lack of parking space at Chaklala. Helicopters overnighting at Chaklala are loaded overnight and sortie in the morning; helicopters that overnight at Qasim fly the short distance to Chaklala in the morning, are loaded, and then deploy.

The Airport Emergency Team, a consortium of private sector major freight forwarding and cargo firms, is deployed in Chaklala (located in Hanger 14), adding capacity to the regular Pakistani military ground handling services. It is expected that they will continue operations for at least a further week unless demand dictates otherwise.

2.  The NATO Air Bridge

Following a meeting today in Brussels between Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator with NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO is now planning to increase its operations further, including the current airbridge. (see Bulletin 2 of October 18th and Bulletin 4 of October 21st).

NATO will work closely with the Pakistan Government and the UN in this regard. Consideration is being given to establishing liaison officers at both the headquarters and operational levels in the respective organisations to ensure effective co-coordination. To date eight flights - mainly of C-130's - have served the airbridge since its inception on October 20th. Several other earlier charter flights preceded this.

The NATO air bridge comprises two components. The first is based at Ramstein in Germany. These aircraft are transporting shelter commodities which are offered by European nations to the Government of Pakistan. The second component is airlifting shelter equipment for UNHCR and operates from Incirlik in Turkey. The duration of the airbridge is uncertain but will be at least several weeks.

3.  UNHAS Passenger Service

The daily schedule of UNHAS passenger helicopter services to the affected area are as follows:

Morning Afternoon

Depart
Islamabad
0800 hrs 

Arrive
Manshera
0840 hrs 

Depart
Islamabad
1300 hrs 

Arrive
Manshera
1340 hrs

Depart
Manshera
0920 hrs 

Arrive
Muzaffarabad
0935 hrs 

Depart
Manshera
1410 hrs 

Arrive
Muzaffarabad
1425 hrs

Depart
Muzaffarabad
1030 hrs 

Arrive
Islamabad
1110 hrs 

Depart
Muzaffarabad
1530 hrs 

Arrive
Islamabad
1610 hrs

 
Further passenger destinations may be serviced late in the coming week once further UNHAS helicopters are operational. Passenger bookings may be done only at UNHAS premises at House 1, Street 2, F-8/3, Islamabad. Further information is available at www.unhas.it.

4.  Import of Light Humanitarian Vehicles

Several international NGO's have experienced unacceptable delays importing vehicles into Pakistan, including vehicles redeployed from existing operations in Afghanistan.

At the request of the Logistics Cluster Chair, UNJLC clarified the general procedure for vehicle importation with the WFP Afghanistan Liaison Office. The procedure differs depending on whether the vehicles arrive by sea or air on the one hand or overland from Afghanistan, India or China on the other. In any event, all documentation should be clearly marked indicating that the imported items are for humanitarian relief work. The Government of Pakistan has granted Customs concessions for an initial period of three months although this does not seem to have been officially gazetted.

  • Sea and Air: The consignee and carrier will require the usual import documents such as Bill of Lading, logbook, insurance and registration documents. To obtain Customs exemption, importing UN agencies should contact UNDP Islamabad for the issue of an Exemption Certificate for Customs Clearance. Contact is Mr. Niaz Ahmed, +92 (0)300 856-9472. UNDP will send the certificate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for endorsement. This can take up to five working days. Upon receiving the endorsed certification, UNDP will issue a letter to accompany the certificate and the usual documents for the clearing agent.

It is understood that the procedure for NGO's is to write directly to the Ministry. Mr. Ahmed should be able to advise responding NGO's accordingly.

Clearance time at Karachi should be about two to three days. Road transport from Karachi to Islamabad should take about two to three days.

  • Land: The consignee will be required to obtain an export permit from the neighbouring country indicating no objection to the vehicle being exported. The consignee than takes the letter to the Ministry of Commerce with a covering letter. The Ministry should then, within ten days, provide a letter to be presented to the authorities at the land border allowing the importation.

The contact at the Ministry of Commerce is Mr. Tasneem Noorani, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Room 413, 4th Floor, Pak Secretariat, Block "A", Islamabad, telephone 921-0277, fax 920-5241.

5.  Pakistani Government Emergency Cell

The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established an Emergency Co-ordination Cell (ECC), operational 24 hours a day.

The cell kindly requests all UN agencies and international NGO's to e-mail and fax to them all relevant contact numbers and focal points. They are particularly interested in obtaining immediately information, in time for use at the October 26th donors' conference in Geneva, on what each organisation has done in the emergency to date, what  is being done now, and what is intended to be done. They also request daily updates on activities and most importantly, what each organisation sees as the needs and, most importantly, what action, in the opinion of the organisation, the Government of Pakistan should take.

ECC telephone numbers are Islamabad 920-7691, 9522 or 9544. Fax numbers are Islamabad 920-7696, 9463 and 9464. E-mail ecc@mfa.gov.pk. The Cell is managed by Mr. Tariq Osman Hyder, Additional Secretary (UN) and Emergency Co-ordinator, office 920-5494, direct line 920-7677, fax 920-2518, mobiles 0333 528-3133 and 0300 956-8941, e-mail asunec@mfa.gov.pk.

According to the ECC, relief assistance despatched by the Pakistani military from the military side of the Chaklala Air Base in the first ten days is as below. These items are generally unsolicited items provided by international and national donors (organisations and individuals as well as government) for non-specific distribution to the people of Pakistan, or purchased locally.

 Means of delivery

Items 

Helicopter

Road

Total

No. of tents 13,000  13,125  25,125
No. of blankets  56,000 103,467 159,467
Total numbers 69,000  116,592  185,592
Tonnes of:      
Medicine  50 136 186
Food and rations 130 370 500
Water 63 14 77
Burial cloth 44 105 149
Miscellaneous 45 232 277
Tonnes shipped * 332 857 1189
       

*: In addition to tents and blankets, for which tonnage figures not available.

During that period, total helicopter sorties outbound from Chaklala to forward bases in the affected area, using international and Pakistani aircraft, was about 550. Further sorties from the forward based to end delivery points amounted to about 1500.

The ECC is aware of the problem of the airport congestion over the past week and assures the humanitarian community that it has improved in recent days. This is consistent with UNJLC's own observations. The ECC also notes that UN agencies are clearing their cargos expeditiously but NGO are not doing so as quickly, causing backlogs.

It is not yet clear whether the Pakistani authorities will seize for their own use cargos that are not claimed within a reasonable period but it remains a distinct possibility.  There has been at least one instance of the authorities seizing a shelter cargo that was clearly consigned to a UN agency, and another of an international NGO's cargo being seized, but the reasons and background are unclear. Cargos on recent flights, in the past 24 hours, have not been affected

6.  Road Access

Road access status in the North West Frontier Province is has remained largely unchanged over recent days, according to according to UNDSS (UN Department of Safety and Security).
BULLETIN ENDS