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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > October
Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 19, 2005


State Department Update on U.S. Response to South Asia Earthquake; October 19

On October 9, President Bush spoke about the tragic earthquake in South Asia and said, "…thousands have died, thousands are wounded, and the United States wants to help." Since that time, the United States has been working to demonstrate the meaning of a Presidential commitment to help our friends in crisis.

The United States has made an initial pledge of $50 million available for immediate aid to Pakistan, and from this pledge USAID has now provided more than $15 million to organizations rendering assistance on the ground. U.S. civilian and military equipment, commodities and experts have poured into Pakistan and are being deployed, as requested, by the Government of Pakistan to relieve suffering and minimize further loss of life.

The United States remains the principal international provider of airlift capabilities to assist earthquake victims and will continue to supplement these capabilities. 17 U.S. helicopters are supporting relief operations of the Government of Pakistan, the United Nations and other relief organizations. U.S. helicopters have flown 483 missions, delivered over a million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated over 2,800 people needing immediate medical attention. We expect to deploy 13 additional helicopters to Pakistan in the next few days.

42 U.S. military and civilian airlifts to Pakistan have delivered hundreds of tons of medical supplies, food, plastic sheeting, blankets, water containers and purification units and concrete-cutting saws. We have begun deploying a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH), with final delivery scheduled for October 22. Two ships have delivered heavy machinery and other equipment and supplies to the Pakistani port of Karachi. An additional vessel is expected to deliver more engineering equipment within the next few days.

We continue to urge the American people to support the relief effort. Because of the difficulties and complications created by sending goods directly to earthquake victims, we strongly urge private donors to contribute money to humanitarian organizations.

For additional details on the relief efforts and a list of participating humanitarian organizations, please visit www.usaid.gov.


Released on October 19, 2005

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