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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ISLAMABAD15531
2005-10-16 12:23:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE: UNHCR PLANS FOR CAMPS AND

Tags:   AEMR  EAID  MASS  PARM  PGOV  PK  PREL  AID  UN 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 015531 

SIPDIS

KABUL - PLEASE PASS TO CFC-A
DEPT - PLEASE PASS TO USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR EAID MASS PARM PGOV PK PREL AID UN
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE: UNHCR PLANS FOR CAMPS AND
SHELTER

REF: A. ISLAMABAD 15522 AND NOTAL

B. HUNT/SWAMY/GRENCIK EMAIL TO SA/PB 14-16 OCTOBER
2005



1. The October 8, 2005 magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Pakistan
left an estimated 3.3 million people without shelter (UN
Office of Humanitarian Coordinator, October 15). Providing
temporary shelter from them remains a top priority of the
international assistance effort and the government of
Pakistan. The United Nations Disaster Management Team
(UNDMT) and the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination
(UNDAC) group is focused on establishing small temporary
camps only where necessary, putting primary emphasis on
providing shelter close to the destroyed homes of survivors.

CAMPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS


--------------------------





2. The UNDAC Camp Management Cluster, led by the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), received a
written request on October 13, 2005 from Pakistan's Federal
Relief Coordinator, Major General Farooq Ahmed Kahn, to
establish camps for those left homeless by the earthquake.
The UN Flash Appeal for the South Asia Earthquake contains a
request for $22 million for the UNDAC Camp Management Cluster
to provide everything needed to operate camps for up to
500,000 people except food (which is included in the Food
Cluster Request). UNHCR and the fourteen non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) in the Camp Management Cluster,
recognizing that camps can be magnets for those looking for
assistance and become unnecessarily large, have agreed to
minimize the number of camps and to aim to keep them open
only for six months. The Camp Management Cluster will work
with the Shelter and other UNDAC clusters to achieve this
goal. To keep camp sizes small, it plans to:

-- Prevent interim displacement by delivering tents and
blankets to the most remote areas possible to enable people
to remain near their destroyed homes;

-- Provide tents, blankets, non-food items, and
organizational assistance to spontaneous settlements;

-- Keep those camps it is necessary to establish as small as
possible;

-- Work to establish and maintain in the camps Sphere
standards (which set minimum levels of assistance for
disaster assistance).

UN HAS NO PLANS TO ESTABLISH LARGE CAMPS


--------------------------





3. UNHCR and NGO members of the Camp Management Cluster are
currently completing site surveys for the small camps in
Muzaffarabad, Balakot and Batagram and in other locations.
Although October 14 newspaper reports referred to a
Government of Pakistan (GOP) plan to create "tent cities" to
house earthquake victims, the UN has received no formal
request from the GOP for such camps. If asked, UNHCR will
provide technical advice to GOP on establishing and operating
large camps, but it will not itself take a role in management
of camps in urban areas or camps located great distances from
the homes of survivors.

PROVIDING SHELTER TO THOSE OUTSIDE CAMPS


--------------------------





4. UNHCR is encouraged by assurances from the GOP that those
in the earthquake-affected area will want to stay as close to
their destroyed dwellings as possible. It has already
provided 2,400 winterized tents to its NGO partners for
distribution, and an additional 15,415 winterized tents and
220,000 blankets from UHCR stockpiles in Afghanistan, Turkey
and Dubai are scheduled to be delivered by October 20, The
Shelter Cluster is also working to provide tents to the
displaced who want to remain near their homes. UNDAC and the
Shelter Cluster are in the process of determining how many
tents have already been delivered, how many are being
shipped, and how many of them are winterized. The Shelter
Cluster reports that estimates of the need for tents varies;
initial estimates were that between 100,000 and 200,000 tents
would be needed, but the Shelter Cluster now estimates the
number required could be as high as 600,000. As of October
15, 2005, the Shelter Cluster estimated that 15,000 tents had
already been delivered and that 66,000 were in the pipeline,
but stressed that these are preliminary figures and that it
lacks complete information from all donors.



5. Comment: The need to shelter survivors of the earthquake
is growing more acute each day, as the shift in weather
conditions has left thousands exposed to the elements.
Post's contacts in the Kashmiri community agree with the GOP
assessment that strong cultural imperatives will make
survivors extremely reluctant to abandon their land and
homes. The sizable Kashmiri community in
Islamabad/Rawalpindi is already housing extended family
members affected by the earthquake, but will not be able to
absorb the thousands of displaced survivors. Post will
continue to monitor UNHCR and GOP resettlement plans as
Pakistan shifts from emergency relief toward sustainable
mid-term housing for the homeless.
CROCKER