Tuesday, October 11, 2005

1st update from Islamabad

Arrived at 7 this morning and went straight into meetings with the orgs/ppl we'd been in touch with from London.

Initial view (so far just from what we hear in Islamabad) is that the situation is truly dire, and the amount of aid that has reached the areas most affected is still tiny compared with the need. Estimates of the death toll commonly heard among NGOs are much higher than official 20-30K figures.

A bottleneck that we've identified that we're going to try to fill is moving relief goods on from Isb. Many of the smaller NGOs have collected/purchased goods, but they're stuck in Isb as these NGOs don't have access to vehicles (all vehicles available for hire in Isb seem to already have been taken). ZA has access to some vans in the parts of Azad Kashmir unaffected, and we are hoping to get these on the road tomorrow, along with possibly some light trucks we may be able to hire from Lahore.

[have to go now, post to be continued...]


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