International response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake

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A US Army sergeant gives a young Kashmiri girl fresh water as they are airlifted to Islamabad.

In the international response to the 2005 Kashmir earthquake many countries, international organizations and non-governmental organizations offered relief aid to the affected regions. The aid given was in the form of monetary donations and pledges, as well as relief supplies including food, medical supplies, tents and blankets. Rescue and relief workers were sent from different parts of the world to the region and they brought along rescue equipment, including helicopters and rescue dogs.


  •  Tunisia - The Tunisian government has sent a C-130 plane with 14 tons of relief supplies, including food, blankets and medical supplies to Pakistan.


  •  Afghanistan - The Afghan government sent four rescue helicopters from its nascent air force, as well as a fixed-wing plane loaded with four tons of medicine and army medical personnel, to help with disaster relief in the hardest-hit areas of Kashmir. The country also pledged US$500,000 in aid. The Afghan Red Crescent Society has also announced that it will donate 20 tons of dried food and send teams of medical personnel.
  •  Cambodia – The Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has pledged US$60,000 in assistance.[1]
  •  People's Republic of China - The government of the People's Republic of China, offered emergency aid worth US$6.2 million (PKR 370.14 M) to help earthquake victims in Pakistan.[2] A 49-member international rescue team and the first batch of rescue materials were sent to Pakistan on October 9, 2005.[3] US$1 million in cash was sent out on October 10, 2005. A rescue team with sniffer dogs is now up and running.[4][5]
  •  India - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offers quake assistance to Pakistan. Indian and Pakistani High Commissioners are in touch regarding cooperation in relief work. India has sent 25 tonnes of relief material to Pakistan including food, blankets and medicine. Big Indian companies such as Infosys have offered aid up to $226,000. On October 12, an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane ferried across seven truckloads (about 82 tons) of army medicines, 15,000 blankets and 50 tents and returned to New Delhi. A senior airforce official also stated that they had been asked by the Indian government to be ready to fly out another similar consignment.[7] On October 14, India dispatched the second consignment to relief material to Pakistan, by train through the Wagah Border. The consignment includes 5,000 blankets, 370 tents, 5 tons of plastic sheets and 12 tons of medicine. The third consignment is of medicine and relief material is being readied and will be sent shortly, also by train.[8] India also pledged $25 million as aid to Pakistan.[9]

India opened the first of three points at Chakan Da Bagh, in Poonch, on the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan for the 2005 Kashmir earthquake relief work. (Rediff)

  •  Iran - Iran has dispatched foodstuff, blankets, tents and medicine through two aircraft.[12]
  •  Israel - Israel offered aid to Pakistan and India immediately following the earthquake; Pakistan has recently[when?] accepted this aid on the condition that the aid be channeled through a third-party organization such as the United Nations. The nature of the aid has not yet been determined.[13][14]
  •  Japan - Japan is providing experts and equipment for rescue operations. On October 11, Japan pledged a further US$20 million and stated that it was ready to dispatch dozens of troops and several transport helicopters to aid relief efforts. A statement by the Japanese Defense Ministry clarified on October 12, that they would be sending approximately 290 troops and three helicopters to help with the relief work in Pakistan.[1][16][17]
  •  Kuwait - The Kuwaiti government announced a US$100 million in aid to Pakistan. Half of the aid package will be offered in the form of relief assistance, while the other half (approximately $51 million) will be used to repair damaged infrastructure.[18]
  •  Malaysia - Malaysia has dispatched a search-and-rescue team to quake-ravaged Pakistan and US$1 million (MYR 3.8 million) to its government. The Malaysian team comprises 50 men from various agencies and non-governmental organisations, including the National Security Division, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART), Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Mercy Malaysia.[19]
  •    Nepal – Nepal has offered US$50,000 in relief to Pakistan.[1]
  •  Qatar - A spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry said that the country was also willing to give humanitarian assistance to Pakistan.
  •  Saudi Arabia - Saudi King Abdullah has announced an emergency aid package worth 133 million dollars for Pakistan.[21] As of Oct 15, 2005 this is the largest single donation by any country for Kashmir Earthquake 2005. Earlier, Saudi King Abdullah ordered the rapid establishment of an airlift of doctors, medicine, tents and emergency supplies to the affected region.[22]
    Saudi Arabia is one of the largest contributors to the earthquake relief efforts. The Saudi public has also made a big contribution to helping victims of the earthquake, on the call of Saudi government. The Saudi government went one step further by institutionalizing this assistance in the form of Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake victims (SPAPEV).
  •  South Korea - The South Korean government sent US$500,000 along with blankets, relief food and medical supplies to Pakistan as part of their initial response. A further $3 million in aid was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on October 10.[23]
  •  Turkey - Turkey is sending 30 aircraft carrying medical teams to Pakistan.[17] Furthermore, on October 20 Turkey announced a relief package of US$150 million; financial assistance of $100 million and relief goods worth $50 million including 1 million blankets, 50,000 tonnes of flour and 25,000 tonnes of sugar.[24] The Turkish Red Crescent sent 90 health personnel to Pakistan, built tent cities and hospitals. The Turkish Red Crescent has also started building a new tent city that will provide shelter for 70,000 people.[25]
  •  United Arab Emirates - The total monetary commitment so far is US$100 million.[26] United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has ordered the immediate dispatch of humanitarian aid to the region and rescue teams. The Dubai police have also begun to leave for Pakistan.


  •  Norway - Norway provided some NOK 240 million ($38 million) in aid.[27]
  •  Poland - Poland sent rescue dogs, medics and other disaster specialists[28]
  •  Belgium - Belgian Federal Government allocates EUR 250,000 (PKR 18 million) and Flemish Government EUR 125,000 (PKR 9 million) for equipment and relief assistance in Pakistan and India. A 5 people strong rescue team has been sent and 22 people of the special B-fast rescue team, departed for the region on October 11, 2005. The main purpose of the B-fast team is to set up a field hospital for performing basic operations.[29]
  •  Denmark - The Danish Government initially granted DKK 10 million (PKR 97 million) in aid, but has since offered two additional grants of DKK 20 million each, making the total aid DKK 50 million (PKR 485 million).[31]
  •  Estonia - Estonia sent an 18-member medical disaster relief team to the northern Pakistan city Batagram. The team worked there for two weeks, during which they built up a hospital tent complex, which was the main facility in the city for medical assistance[32]
  •  Finland - Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland will allocate EUR 1 million to support the joint field hospital of Finnish and Norwegian Red Cross organizations. The hospital staff includes 20 Finnish medical workers, who will leave for Pakistan on October 12, 2005 and October 13, 2005. Finland also donated 1.000 tents capable of housing 15.000 individuals.[33][34]
  •  France - France is continuing its efforts to assist the earthquake victims in Pakistan. After sending many rescue teams with dogs and equipment for rescue operations, French aid to Pakistan was, in November 2005, reaching 10.5 million euros. In addition to this, once must also consider France's contribution to EU programs and the generous contributions to various NGOs and private companies mobilized in France and in the stricken region since the first day of the quake.[35] On the night of the earthquake, French authorities rushed 25 civil security personnel, 20 rescuers accompanied by dogs and specialized search and rescue material, 41 SAMU (France's emergency medical agency) personnel, and 18 military doctors along with relief materials.[36]
  •  Germany - Germany has sent a team of 16 THW experts with dogs and equipment for locating people in collapsed buildings.[37] The German Red Cross stands by with tents, water-purification equipment and mobile hospitals, to support the work of its partner organizations in the region.[38]
  •  Netherlands - The Dutch department of International Co-operation promised EUR 1 million. A team of 66 rescue workers has arrived and works now in Bagh. The government added EUR 10 million, on October 11, 2005.[39]
  •  Russia - Russia sent two flights carrying rescue teams with dogs and equipment for rescue operations, and it also sent a field hospital.[40]
  •   Switzerland - Switzerland dispatched ten disaster relief experts to Islamabad and the Swiss government pledged CHF 1 million and non-governmental organisations pledged another CHF 750,000.


  •  Cuba – President Fidel Castro has offered, in a letter addressed to the President of Pakistan and made public by officials in Havana, to send 200 doctors to Pakistan in order to help treat the victims of the earthquake. Some 2,260 Cuban health brigadistas, more than 1,400 of them doctors, are in the area of Kashmir. The fully equipped Cuban Field Hospitals will be handed over to the Pakistani government.[50] The Cuban Government has provided 234.5 tons of medicines and disposable materials, and 275.7 tons of most leading-edge equipment. More than 300 students of medicine have taken courses in the Cuban Field Hospitals. The Cuban Government has decided to offer a wide and free medicine scholarships program for 1,000 young Pakistanis from rural communities.[51]
    The first Cuban medical team was in Pakistan on October 14, six days after the earthquake, the fast acceptance of the aid was a surprise due to the close relation of Pakistan and the US; the two countries have not even exchanged Ambassadors at that time. The leading Pakistani newspaper Dawn quoted President Musharraf as saying that "one of the most heart-warming letters of support" following the earthquake was from Fidel Castro. In his letter, Castro said that it was difficult for him to rest when thousands of Pakistanis were spending their days in pain, awaiting surgery.[52]
  •  United States - The United States announced that it would provide an initial contribution of US$156 million (PKR 3 billion) for emergency relief in Pakistan, and teams from the United States were the first on the scene to deliver assistance. The U.S. military also provided supplies and assistance. As of November 3, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has 933 personnel providing relief and reconstruction assistance in support of the Pakistan earthquake relief effort. Five CH-47 Chinook and three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are being moved into Pakistan immediately, and a C-17 Globemaster III military aircraft has already been assigned to bring blankets, tents and other relief supplies to the victims. The 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH), established October 25 in Muzaffarabad, currently has 36 Intensive Care Unit beds, 60 intermediate minimal care beds, and two operating rooms. To date the MASH has performed 46 surgeries, and treated 548 non-surgical patients. Furthermore, a 23-member logistical support group is also being dispatched from McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. The United States Agency for International Development has provided more than US$41.8 million for relief work in Pakistan, including nine completed airlifts of relief supplies. The airlifts delivered a total of 45,000 blankets, 1,570 winterized tents, 6,150 rolls of plastic sheeting for approximately 30,750 families, 15,000 water containers, 17 water bladders, 2 water purification units, 10 WHO emergency health kits, and 20 concrete cutting saws. USAID has also committed funds to the UN, other international organizations and NGOs. On Wednesday, November 9, 2005, business leaders from GE, UPS, Pfizer, Xerox, and Citigroup met with President Bush at the White House to announce the launch of the South Asia Earthquake Relief Fund and website.[53][54][55][56]


  •  Australia - Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Bruce Billson offered condolences and said that Australia was donating A$500,000 (PKR23 million) for medical and relief assistance to help provide medical help and shelter to affected communities. Since then, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said the Government has increased its total aid pledge to A$5.5 million (PKR250 million). As of the 11 October 2005, this has been extended by A$4.5 million (PKR 204 million), bringing its total contribution to A$10 million (PKR 453 million)[57][58][59] In a Ministerial Press Release Defence on November 9, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced an ADF deployment of about 140 personnel; comprising a command element, an aviation detachment of four Blackhawk helicopters, and logistics and communication personnel. They are to be based in Dhanni 20 km north-east of Muzaffarabad, where a central medical facility will be established to support efforts in the region. The deployment will last three months with an estimated cost of A$20 million.[60][61][62]

Multinational organizations[edit]

  •  European Union — The European Commission released EUR 3.6 million (PKR 260 million) on 9 October. Funds are being made available to partner humanitarian organisations through ECHO, the humanitarian aid department of the European Commission.[67]
  •  Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) — Secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu expressed immense shock and sadness at the tragedy and conveyed his "profound and sincere condolences to the government and the brotherly people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan". He strongly appealed to all OIC member states and the international community, to expeditiously extend all possible humanitarian assistance and support to the Government and people of Pakistan, to overcome the impact of this tragedy.[68]
  • World Bank Group - On October 9, the World Bank committed US$20 million for recovery in Pakistan. This amount was raised to $40 million on October 11. A further $100 million is offered to build "designed houses" in Northern Pakistan and Kashmir area.[69][70][70]

Non-governmental organizations[edit]

  • Humanity First- The first to reach the earthquake zone. Doctors, paramedics and volunteers from UK, Canada, USA and Pakistan opened medical and tent camps which still continue to provide longterm health care and shelter to the victims of the earthquake.
  • Direct Relief International - Through October 31, 2006, Direct Relief has provided 1.5 million courses of treatment of specifically requested medicines, supplies, and equipment, along with $1.1 million in cash grants to 12 clinics, hospitals, and organizations, to the relief effort, and continues to provide ongoing programmatic support to its partners.[71]
  • Oxfam - An emergency assessment and response team was dispatched to the region. A coordinator said that the "initial needs appear to be tents, blankets, medical kits, food aid, water and trauma counseling for those affected."[72]
  • The International Rescue Corps are deploying a specialist Urban Search and Rescue team of 14 volunteers to Pakistan as part of the wider UK response.[73]
  • Red Crescent - Emergency assessment and response teams are being deployed in all parts of the affected region.[74] A team of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reached Muzaffarabad on October 10. Further teams deployed in Uri and Jammu with the Indian Red Cross Society. The ICRC has set up a website to facilitate the contact between relatives and friends unable to get in touch with each other.[75]
  • The Edhi Foundation has been active in Pakistan for two decades. They are providing food, clothes, blankets and medicine to those affected by the disaster.[79]
  • The World Islamic Mission Welfare Trust - are sending out phases of doctors to the area, including both General Physicians and Surgeons with tens of thousands of pounds worth of medicine. They are also setting up various dispensaries within affected areas, as well as collaborating with hospitals within the area to take airlifted injured survivors. Rehabilitaion will become the main focus after the immediate phase has paased.[80]
  • SPO - Provided relief aid and medical goods at the Lady Reading and Khyber Hospitals, in Peshawar. Till date, goods worth 850 000 Rs. have been sent.[81]
  • DEMIRA Deutsche Minenraeumer e.V. deployed an emergency team to Balakot district only hours after the earthquake. In cooperation with the Pakistan army DEMIRA set up a medical facility in the valley of Ghanool providing the hard-hit mountain communities with lifesaving triage and air ambulance.
  • JEN Japan Emergency NGOs has started to work for the relief operation on 9 October 2005. Expert came from Japan to provide Non Food Items (NFIs) to the affected people in District Bagh. JEN worked in District Bagh until December 2008. JEN constructed 3 permanent structure (earthquake proof)Schools and 3 Shelter schools, each school contains 2 shelters.[82]

Estimate of financial aid[edit]

On November 19, 2005 it was estimated that the international community as a whole pledged about 5.8 billion USD.[83]


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External links[edit]