Winter Misery Continues

With intermittent rain and snow in Pakistan-administered Kashmir
and NWFP causing flooding, collapsed tents and misery for the
people living in villages and camps, IOM has continued to expand on
their urban Rapid Response Teams in Muzaffarabad.

Emergency Shelter Cluster members with extra personnel capacity
have been brought in to form Rapid Response Teams to provide
emergency shelter assistance. Teams have been organized involving
the water and sanitation department of the Municipal
Administration, IOM, Christian Relief Foundation, and Trust for
Voluntary Organizations.

In total, 30 settlements have received 2,096 tarpaulins, 45
blankets, and 101 tents. An additional 6,530 winterization kits
from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) were
distributed in various areas of Muzaffarabad city and district.

A 24-hour hotline set up with the assistance of radio station
Power99, is proving to be effective in getting rapid assistance to
survivors. Every Wednesday night, IOM Field Coordinator Hugh Smith
is also a guest DJ, mixing Frank Sinatra and ACDC songs with public
service announcements on fire-safety and tent drainage tips.

“It’s a little strange to being the
‘International DJ’ in town,” says IOM’s
Hugh Smith. “But between songs, I get a chance to advertise
our new emergency service and to participate in the wider community
of Muzaffarabad. It’s a brand new idea, and I admit that
I’m a bit amazed it has worked out so well.”

In North West Frontier Province, villagers in the Allai valley
continue to receive aid at an urgent pace. IOM has taken possession
of 12 4x4 jeeps, and has been ferrying shelter material across
unstable roads from Batagram to Bana in the valley. Over the
weekend, IOM delivered 200 shelter kits, 2500 plastic sheets, 150
DFID winterization kits and various tools to the region.

IOM Batagram also conducted an assessment in Qaziabad in the
lower Allai Valley and five nearby hamlets, where a total of 300
families were found to still be in need of shelter aid. A large
consignment of blankets, mattresses, clothing sets, blankets, and
kitchen sets will be dispatched in the next few days.

An additional eight psychologists and psychiatrists are being
dispatched to Muzaffarabad and Mansehra to provide mental health
services to people affected by the earthquake. IOM’s medical
team now has 33 members, providing counseling and therapy for those
who need it. There are an estimated 180,000 people in need of
mental health assistance.

IOM continues to receive requests from local and international
NGOs for logistic supplies including medicines, tents and heaters
for health facilities to facilitate provision of clinical services
in the affected areas. To this end, IOM is supporting the Cuban
medical brigade by providing them with some food items and
medicines so the doctors can continue working in the very remote
areas of the earthquake zone.

Donations of materials and equipment allowing IOM to meet
demands is greatly appreciated. The Spanish government recently
donated eight large, community tents for medical and school

The Frankfurt Airport Authority has also donated to IOM over 60
metric tones of sleeping bags, clothing sets, blankets, and baby
food for earthquake survivors. IOM will be distributing the items
throughout the region.

For further information, please contact:

Saleem Rehmat

IOM Islamabad

Tel: + 92 300 856 0341

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