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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 20, 2005


State Department Update on U.S. Response to South Asia Earthquake; October 20

In testimony before the U.S. House Committee on International Relations today, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina B. Rocca said, "We are providing funds for rescue and relief to both Pakistan and India. We are providing urgently needed transportation and material support to the Government of Pakistan. We are mobilizing the private sector to provide additional leadership and support to address the many pressing needs faced by victims. In the days ahead, we will urge the international community to join us in support of the earthquake’s victims and we will be vigorously engaged at next week’s U.N. meetings in Geneva. There is much that the United States can contribute, but we cannot do it all ourselves."

The United States has made an initial pledge of $50 million available for immediate aid to Pakistan. From this pledge USAID has now provided close to $17 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.

In addition, the United States remains the principal international provider of airlift capabilities to augment the capacity of the Government of Pakistan to assist earthquake victims. The United States will continue to supplement these capabilities. Nineteenhelicopters, provided by the United States, are supporting relief operations of the Government of Pakistan, the United Nations and other relief organizations. U.S. helicopters have flown close to 500 missions, delivered over a million pounds of relief supplies and evacuated close to 4,000 people needing immediate medical attention. We expect to deploy 19 additional helicopters to Pakistan in the next few days.

Fifty-nine U.S. military and civilian airlifts to Pakistan have delivered hundreds of tons of medical supplies, tents, plastic sheeting, blankets, food, cots, and water containers and purification units.

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 http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2005/Pakistan/index_flash.html and www.usaid.gov.

Released on October 20, 2005

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