Islamabad, Pakistan, 16 November 2005 - The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Pakistan, together with its affiliate, Focus Humanitarian Assistance, launched an immediate response to the devastating earthquake of 8th October. Beginning on 9th October, search and rescue teams were deployed in Islamabad and, on 10th October, to Muzaffarabad and surrounding areas. Since then, agencies of the AKDN, including the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Health Service, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, the Aga Khan University, and private sector companies controlled by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (including the Serena hotels, the Habib Bank, and New Jubilee Insurance), have responded as follows:
Managed by the Aga Khan Foundation’s helicopter wing, four AKDN helicopters, two of which have been deployed to Pakistan from their base in Central Asia, have carried out more than 650 sorties, carrying more than 500 MT of relief and medical cargo, over 3,500 passengers (including villagers requiring evacuation and relocation, government officials, army personnel, aid workers, medical staff, and international diplomatic officials), and more than 1,100 casualties.
Focus Humanitarian Assistance has carried out evacuation and relief operations in more than a dozen locations, including some of the most remote and difficult-to-access areas. It has delivered food items for more than 70,000 people, has distributed over 1,100 tents, and more than 14,000 blankets, and has evacuated more than 900 casualties from vulnerable locations.
The Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan University Hospital, and the Aga Khan Health Service, has provided extensive emergency medical support, through more than 80 doctors (including physicians, surgeons, paediatricians, anaesthesiologists, and other medical specialists), 40 nurses, and teams of medical technicians, field officers, and medical students. Support has included provision of the following:
- Emergency surgical procedures (mostly orthopaedic and spinal cord injuries) for more than 350 trauma patients.
- Direct emergency and basic healthcare to more than 10,000 people through three health centres established by the Aga Khan Health Service, in partnership with UNICEF, serving a population of more than 80,000 in surrounding areas.
- Mass vaccinations, including more than 5,000 doses of Measles, Typhoid, Tetanus toxoid and Hepatitis A, and over 10,000 doses of TT vaccine.
- Emergency training in basic nursing, basic life support, wound care, basic medical and psychiatric support, and trauma counselling.
- Surveillance for control of infectious diseases in affected areas.
More than 1,000 volunteers and staff have been involved in the relief efforts so far.
Efforts to date have involved financial and non-financial expenditures and contributions worth more than $3 million.
AKDN is working in close partnership with various ministries and departments of the Pakistan government, UN agencies, and international multilateral and bilateral partners, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Union, and partner governments including Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan, the USA, and others.