Main Navigation


Operational update on the humanitarian activities of Red Cross and Red Crescent in response to the Asia quake


Friday February 3, 2006

Background

According to official estimates, the earthquake in Pakistan last October left at least 73,300 people dead, 128,000 injured and some 3.5 million homeless.

The earthquake devastated 30,000 square kilometres primarily in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and North West Frontier Province. Over 70 per cent of dwellings in the affected areas were destroyed, with those left standing often damaged in some way. 365 hospitals and basic health care units were ruined.

Red Cross Red Crescent aims to meet the immediate shelter, relief, health and water and sanitation needs of some 570,000 people.

With northern winter having well and truly arrived, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation), together with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS), has over the past weeks significantly scaled-up its relief efforts, distributing tents and other aid to an additional 35,000 quake-survivors.

Continued constraints

The weather over the past few weeks has been reasonably good, with intermittent sunny weather enabling the Federation and its partners to scale up the distribution of relief items. However, inclement weather remains a constant threat. Heavy rains in some areas has caused muddy conditions in camps and triggered landslides that have blocked some mountain roads.

As at 1 February the revised appeal of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for $160 million is approximately 78% covered.

Red Cross Red Crescent response in Pakistan<

Australian Red Cross has so far deployed 18 aid workers to support the global Red Cross and Red Crescent relief effort in Pakistan. They are:

  • Claire Collins (Vic) - Muzaffarabad, helping set up and run a 400-bed Red Cross field hospital
  • Margaret Brewster (NSW) - Muzaffarabad, four month mission as a Surgical Ward Nurse with the Red Cross field hospital
  • Leanne McKenry (Vic) - Muzaffarabad, four month mission as a Surgical Ward Nurse with the Red Cross field hospital
  • Denise Moyle (Tas) - Muzaffarabad, four month mission as a Surgical Ward Nurse with the Red Cross field hospital
  • Margaret Staff (Vic) - Muzaffarabad, four month mission as head nurse at the Red Cross field hospital
  • Denise Tyler (NSW) - working with mobile Red Cross Red Crescent medical teams, providing assistance to those people living in more isolated communities
  • Kim Ritter (NSW) - Muzaffarabad, six month mission as a Surgical Ward Nurse with the Red Cross field hospital
  • Michael Whittle (WA) - is coordinating Red Cross Red Crescent efforts to provide quake survivors with appropriate short to medium term shelter
  • Christine Foletti (NSW), Allison Rogers (NSW), Megan Kentish (Qld) and Vernon Hill (Qld) have returned to Australia following two weeks in Pakistan as an Australian Red Cross assessment team, evaluating the long-term health needs of people injured in the earthquake
  • Patti Harrod (NSW) - Muzaffarabad, four month mission as an operating theatre nurse at the Red Cross field hospital
  • Norma McRae (Qld), has returned to Australia, having spent seven weeks coordinating the health response of the International Red Cross
  • Mary-Ellen Fitzpatrick (NT) - has returned to Australia after a two week mission coordinating the receipt and deployment of Red Cross aid from Islamabad airport
  • Hang Vo (Vic) - Islamabad and field, has returned to Australia after two weeks helping establish contact between separated or missing family members
  • Ian Woolverton (Vic) - has returned to Australia after completing a rapid 10 day mission where he provided information support as well as liaising with Australian and international media
  • Agnes Beaton (NT) - has returned to Afghanistan after completing a two week mission as health coordinator for the International Red Cross in Islamabad

Further deployments are scheduled for the coming weeks.

Emergency relief

  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has reached more than 550,000 quake-affected people since operations began
  • To date, Red Cross Red Crescent has distributed in excess of 51,000 winterised tents, 348,000 blankets, 104,000 tarpaulins, 47,500 bed sheets and 181,000 quilts
  • The last of the Red Cross Red Crescent's pipeline goods are now entering the country and will feed into ongoing distributions. This includes an additional 20,000 winterised tents

Health care

Since the start of the operation 183,255 people have received Red Cross Red Crescent medical assistance.

  • The Red Cross Red Crescent field hospital in Abbotabad has admitted 260 patients and performed 205 operations. In all 13,706 people have been seen by Red Cross Red Crescent medical personnel in Abbotabad
  • The Red Cross Red Crescent Basic Health Care Emergency Response Unit (BHC ERU) in Balakot has provided services including medical treatment, minor surgery, health education, antenatal care and immunisations to 6,122 people to date
  • The BHC ERU in Batagram has so far treated 10,487 quake-survivors. In addition, two mobile Red Cross teams have been providing out-reach services to inaccessible areas around Batagram
  • The Red Cross Red Crescent 40-bed basic health unit at Upper Duly has provided consultations to 11,823 quake-affected people as well as deploying mobile teams to provide primary health services to people living in remote areas
  • The Red Cross Red Crescent 30-bed field hospital in Mansehra has seen a total of 47,880 people

Water and sanitation

  • A Red Cross Red Crescent water and sanitation Emergency Response unit (ERU) in Batagram is treating and storing potable water and is providing water to surrounding camps, as well as to the BHC ERU. The team is also continuing to truck and distribute 40,000 litres of water each day to surrounding communities
  • In Balakot, the water and sanitation ERU continues to treat and produce potable water at a rate of 125,000 to 200,000 litres each day, enough for an estimated 22,000 people
  • In all 256,000 litres of clean water has been distributed to more than 35,000 quake-survivors

Share