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State Department Issues Update on U.S. Aid to Earthquake Victims

United States remains principal international provider of airlift capabilities

Posted: October 20, 2005 Related item: Secretary Rice promises more U.S. aid for Pakistan  

U.S. military personnel help evacuate an injured Pakistani girl from Muzaffarabad to Islamabad for medical treatment on Thursday, October 20. U.S. military helicopters have delivered more than 250,000 pounds of supplies to the region and helped evacuate more than a thousand injured Pakistanis since the earthquake struck on October 8. (© AP/WWP)

U.S. efforts to assist those affected by the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck South Asia October 8 were summarized by the Department of State in a fact sheet issued October 19.

The fact sheet updates information initially released by the White House early on October 10. (See related article)

The earthquake, which hit a remote region in northern Pakistan near Islamabad, Pakistan, is estimated to have killed more than 30,000 people.

For additional information on the earthquake and its aftermath, see U.S. Response to Earthquake in South Asia.

Following is the State Department fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
October 19, 2005

FACT SHEET

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

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.

(end fact sheet)

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