Source UNJLC
Countries Pakistan
Document type Other

UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 7 (Day 16)
As of 1800 hours local, October 24th, 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

  • The Logistics Cluster Group will now meet three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30am sharp, at UNJLC premises. Attendance at this meeting will be mandatory for any agencies or NGO's who wish to avail themselves of the benefit of the integrated logistics chain, transport support and facilities in the field being established by key logistics agencies.
  • The cargo carrying capacity of the combined Pakistani and international rotary wing fleet deployed to the emergency is likely to double in the next week to ten days with the arrival of heavy lift military helicopters. However, there  may still be a need for further lifting capacity, particularly in the five-week window of opportunity to reach isolated communities prior to the real onset of winter.
  • UNJLC staff deployed to the operation has more than doubled in the past week, aided by the seconding of two Pakistan government liaison officers, one civilian and one military. Permanent deployments have now been made to the field and fruitful working contacts established with the highest levels on the Pakistani relief effort.
  • UNHAS has added two more destinations to locations serviced by its Mi-8 daily passenger service from Islamabad.

1.    Logistics Co-ordination

As the emergency enters its third week, most responding agencies on the ground have completed the immediate phase of their logistical programme. Besides focussing on getting necessary shelter and food to populations in the mountains in the narrowing window of opportunity before winter closes off higher areas (and evacuating the tens of thousands of injured to where they can get adequate care), UN agencies, NGO's and the Pakistani Government alike are now planning for the longer-term sustainable operation throughout the winter and into the spring.

To date, the scale of the emergency has been so vast and the need so pressing that few agencies have co-ordinated their logistics response effectively. This has been most evident with many easy-to-reach areas being overserviced when other localities have not been addressed at all. There has been anecdotal evidence of dual assessment missions by different agencies and NGO's to the same places, but none to others. Each party has responded as they saw fit without taking into account how they might best take advantage of the economies of scale and efficiencies inherent in logistical co-ordination, and deconflict their work with others.  

On the other hand, co-ordination by the humanitarian community with the Government of Pakistan is improving daily. The Government has welcomed the international response and offered generous concessions and services to the aid effort. With the flow of aid to Pakistan (much of it now by sea) and the scarcity of helicopters necessary to deliver much of that to areas inaccessible by road, combined with the difficulties that will be imposed on both ground and air transport by the approaching winter, closer logistics co-ordination is now an imperative.

In order to achieve this, the Chair of the Logistics Cluster, in conjunction with UNJLC, has merged the Strategic Group and Tactical/Operational Group into a single logistics cluster group, meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, 8:30am sharp, at UNJLC premises in Islamabad.

Attendance at this group, which now includes liason officers from the Pakistani Federal Relief Commission, the US military in their role of supporting the Government in relief logistics, and key UN agencies, will be mandatory for UN agencies and NGO's who wish to benefit from the hubs being established throughout the affected eastern North West Frontier Province and Pakistani Jammu and Kashmir. It is imperative that the cluster, through UNJLC, is aware of the broad logistical plans and requirements of all responding agencies and NGO's. The humanitarian community is putting in place ground transport, field storage, rotary wing cargo capacity and other assets but needs a firm basis to justify the investment. A failure by any NGO to share information now may lead to services being unavailable later to that NGO when needed. Similarly, it is incumbent on key donors to participate constructively and effectively in these meetings. To date, with few notable exceptions, donor participation has been poor.

2.     UNHAS Passenger Service

UNHAS has added Bagh and Batagram to the destinations serviced by Mi-8 helicopter passenger flights for aid workers. This will be a "milk run", including Muzaffarabad and Mansehra. It will not be possible to return from either Bagh or Batagram on the same day on UNHAS so users must be prepared for an overnight stay.  The daily schedule is available here

Further passenger destinations may be added later 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

3.     Pakistani Government Emergency Cell

As outlined in Bulletin 6 of October 22nd, based on information provided by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs Emergency Co-ordination Cell , it was unclear why many more military people appeared to have been hospitalised than were injured, and why the proportion of injured civilians hospitalised was so low.

The authorities have clarified this: many injured civilians were treated in military hospitals. About nine injured civilians were treated in military hospitals for every one injured military personnel.

Foreign medical support provided to date is summarised as follows:


Field Hospital


Medical Teams






Gahri Dupata









North West Frontier Province







Gahri Habibullah
















This is in addition to one foreign medical team at Islamabad to back up the city's facilities, given that it is acting as a hub for medical evacuees.

4.    Rotary Wing Aircraft

There remains at present a shortage of heavy lift helicopters necessary to reach areas cut off by landslides with shelter materials and food, and to evacuate the more severely injured. Cargo-carrying capacity may double in the coming  ten days with new helicopters arriving - particularly heavy lift US and British Chinooks, German CH-53's and UNHAS Mi-26's. However, the military craft may only replace others that were pulled out earlier or are presently deployed, or are due for maintenance. Also, with maintenance and crew rest requirements, and weather restrictions, it may be expected that a significant proportion of deployed helicopter will not be available on any one day. Further constraining factors limiting the deployment of additional helicopters are ground space for parking and loading, and the complexity of co-ordination between the respective air asset taskers as more aircraft operate in a challenging flying environment.

The overall cargo capacity shown in the table as estimated provisionally by UNJLC, excludes the effect of helicopters being assigned for carrying passengers or medical evacuees, such as UNHAS. Most foreign military helicopters are unlikely to be deployed in support of the effort for much more than 30 to 45 days.