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Pakistan mission coordinating relief response, UN

Pakistan mission coordinating relief response from UN

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 9 (APP) -- Acting swiftly, Pakistan's U.N. Mission in New York has been working with relevant U.N. officials to coordinate the world body's response to the calamitous situation brought about by Saturday's huge earthquake which struck Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. Pakistan's Deputy Perrmanent Representative to the UN, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that the Office of UN's Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance was immediately informed of the tragedy. "(Since then), we are closely coordinating related matters with the UN", he added.

United Nations experts in Pakistan coordinating the humanitarian response today set up structures to facilitate the relief effort, which is also being supported by an initial cash grant the world body has provided to the Government. The eight-member UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) set up a coordination centre in Islamabad, an on-site coordination centre in Muzaffarabad and a reception centre at Islamabad airport in order to assist national authorities to deal effectively with international aid.

The UN teams are coordinating their efforts with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad. Six additional experts are expected in Pakistan later today, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In Islamabad, the UN Disaster Management Team has met with most of the international and national non-governmental organizations working in the field of humanitarian assistance. That team comprised three UN inter-agency rapid assessment groups which deployed today. The first, led by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), is in the North West Frontier Province. The second, led by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), is in Kashmir. The third, headed by the International Non-Governmental Organisations Forum, is in the Northern Areas. The Office of Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) has already released a $100,000 emergency cash grant for immediate delivery of relief aid.

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