Office of the Spokesman
December 12, 2005
U.S. Response to Pakistan's Earthquake Disaster
- The United States responded immediately and generously to Pakistanís call for assistance following the tragic and devastating earthquake of October 8. Our response has been consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan.
- The U.S. has pledged a total of $510 million in earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts to assist the people of Pakistan and to support Pakistani government relief efforts. This total includes $300 million in humanitarian relief and reconstruction assistance, $110 million in military support for relief operations, and at least $100 million anticipated from U.S. private contributions.
- The U.S. has encouraged the international community to respond generously to Pakistan. At the November 19 Donors Conference in Pakistan, 75 countries and international organizations confirmed $6.2 billion in new and previous pledges for relief and reconstruction.
- The onset of winter will increase the hardships faced by many quake survivors. Helping the Government of Pakistan to ensure that earthquake victims are adequately sheltered during the winter months remains the United Statesí highest priority.
- U.S. assistance to Pakistan has focused on immediate needs of shelter, relief supplies, health, water, sanitation and logistics. To date, the U.S. has provided more than $79.8 million in humanitarian assistance and food to earthquake-affected communities through non-governmental organizations and the United Nations.
Unique U.S. Resources Committed:
- Over 1,000 American personnel are in Pakistan to assist with relief efforts. The U.S. military will support the relief effort at the invitation of Government of Pakistan until the operations can be effectively transitioned to the host nation, U.S. civilian disaster response managers, the United Nations, the NGOs, and other international support organizations. Some resources have already been re-deployed as needs were being met through other means.
- American helicopters have flown over 3,300 sorties delivering over 10 million pounds of relief supplies to the disaster area and transporting over 15,000 people, including over 4,000 needing medical attention.
- Over 250 U.S. military and civilian cargo airlift flights have delivered more than 7000 tons of medical supplies, food, shelter material, blankets, and rescue equipment to Pakistan.
- A 125-person Naval Mobile Construction Battalion is working to clear debris and to build support structures at camps for displaced persons.
- A U.S. Army Mobile Army Surgical Hospital operating in Muzaffarabad and a U.S. Combined Medical Relief Team operating in Shinkaria have provided urgent medical care to over 9,000 injured people.
- The U.S. military constantly assesses support requirements and coordinates closely with the Pakistani Government to ensure the appropriate personnel and equipment are available to support the Pakistani-led relief operations. Any shift in the current level of support would be based on and decided after close consultation with the Pakistani Government.
Private Sector Engagement:
- American private charitable donations to earthquake assistance have totaled $73 million. These contributions continue to be extremely important in helping Pakistan recover from this devastating disaster.
- Five distinguished corporate leaders, supported by President Bush, have undertaken a nationwide effort to encourage donations from corporations and individuals for relief and reconstruction through the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund (SAERF). To date, up to $24 million has been pledged to this new fund. Information about making donations to the SAERF can be found at http://www.southasiaearthquakerelief.org.
- Information about making individual donations to one of the humanitarian organizations working in the affected areas may also be found at www.USAID.gov.