66 humanitarian flights reach Pakistan with crucial supplies for flood victims

Islamabad: As many as 66 international aid flights have arrived in Pakistan carrying tonnes of much-needed supplies for millions of people affected by devastating monsoon rains and floods.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed on Saturday that around 66 humanitarian aid flights have reached Pakistan during the last two weeks (between August 28 and September 10). More than 6.4 million people are in dire need of humanitarian aid in Pakistan after the catastrophic floods affected more than 33 million and killed nearly 1,400 people including 499 children since mid-June.

The UAE is leading efforts to bolster humanitarian response to help flood victims. UAE has so far sent 31 flights to deliver much-needed food, medical supplies and tents to the flood-affected communities. Two UAE relief flights landed at Jinnah International airport Karachi on September 10 ensuring the continuation of relief operation under the humanitarian air bridge established between Pakistan and UAE.

Over the next week, nine additional flight rotations are planned to dispatch further relief items on behalf of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) partners including the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The first batch of three plane trips carrying 33 tons of humanitarian relief, as well as shelter items from the UNHCR stockpiles in Dubai aboard C130 military planes have reached Karachi.

Turkey sends aid via planes and trains

Turkey has sent at least 11 cargo aircraft and four trains loaded with tonnes of relief goods including food, tents, blankets and medical aid for the flood victims. “We are on the ground. We are on the road. We are on the rail. We are on the air. We stand with you Pakistan” said Dr Kerem Kinik, President of the Turkish Red Crescent (Türk Kızılay). “Türkiye continues humanitarian aid to Pakistan for flood relief day and night via aircraft, goodness trains, and trucks loaded with aid materials prepared for brotherly Pakistan” reads the tweet by the Turkish embassy in Islamabad.

China sends aid and $400 million yuan worth of support

China has sent four planeloads of humanitarian aid. Being dispatches its largest military cargo aircraft Y-20 military to send large volumes of relief goods to Pakistan, including 3,000 tents that are urgently needed as millions are homeless and living under the open sky. Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged 400 million Yuan ($57 million) worth of assistance package for affected Pakistanis.

US sends 5 aid flights and commits $53 million in aid

Two aid flights from the United States carrying flood relief assistance landed at Sukkur Airport on September 10 USAID began airlifting life-saving humanitarian supplies to Pakistan. The US has so far sent five humanitarian assistance flights to rush supplies to those in the flood zones.

On September 8, USAID Administrator Samantha Power travelled to Islamabad to assess the impacts of the devastating floods that have affected one-third of the country. She announced an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance, bringing USAID’s total for flood relief in Pakistan to more than $50.1 million. The US also allocated another $3 million to bolster disaster resilience.

She met the families who have been displaced by the floodwaters and said it was “hard to capture the enormity and devastation of Pakistan’s floods”.

Power also met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) team to discuss the ongoing collaboration between the United States and Pakistan. She also met Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed the rescue efforts as the country’s armed forces are responding to the extraordinary climate catastrophe.

Other aid flights

Pakistan has received at least 11 flights of relief goods from Turkey, five from the United States, four each from China and Qatar, and one each from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Jordan, and France. UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP are also sending aid flights to help strengthen the ongoing response to the devastating floods in the country.