On our way to the distribution points, far into the rural areas of Sindh, the devastation left behind by the floods became more and more visible. It is incredible that, two months after the flood, large parts of Sindh are still under water. Some roads are hardly accessible, which means that trucks / cars / buses / donkeys / camels get stuck in the mud and there’s chaos all over the place.
It’s almost 20:00, and I’m sitting in a tiny WFP office in Sukkur together with at least twelve WFP people. As I’m comfortably typing away amidst all my charging electrical appliances, nipping from my twentieth cup of milk with sugar and a bit of tea, WFP is still in full gear running around, calling and writing. They started their day at 08:00 and won’t go home until 22:00. UN workers work long hours, don’t see their family for months and are stationed in countries you only ever see as dots on a map. My Canadian WFP guide met a Jordan guy today who he had previously seen in Timor.
Karachi, a city of about 20 million people in the south of Pakistan, was not affected by the floods. People are talking about it and it’s obvious from the amount of humanitarian workers at the airport and hotel that something serious is going on, but in this city, they are dealing with other things. Political unrest, poverty, corruption, shootings, and terrorist bombings, to name a few. Just being here is an interesting experience; People are very friendly and willing to show you the culture and cuisine of their city.
I spent the last hour listening to one of the pilots trying (in vain) to explain to me the working of the plane and the ways of the atmosphere and I felt completely happy: Right at the start of a great and, let’s admit it, rather daunting journey that will bring me to the Sindh district in the south of Pakistan and back to Amsterdam within ten days.
Today, TNT airlifted 110 metric tonnes of food aid to Karachi to supply the Pakistani food assistance missions of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). This airlift supplements the facilities TNT already provides in Pakistan such as warehouse space and the necessary resources to operate these warehouses. The shipment of Plumpy’Doz, a peanut and vegetable fat supplementary food for infants that is fortified with vitamin and minerals, is enough to feed approximately 330,000 children for a week.
Tomorrow is World Food Day. From origin a day to honor the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in 1945. Tomorrow is also the day TNT will airlift a Boeing 747 to Pakistan to help WFP. The cargo of the 747 is this time different than the airlift we did for Haiti. This time no High Energy Biscuits but a "peanut paste" called Plumpy'Doz.
Last week, a selected group of employees from TNT, UPS and Agility, gathered in Miami for an intensive training about emergency response. Since two years, the three companies are joining forces during emergencies, forming Logistics Emergency Teams LETs), to support WFP in their relief operations with combined skills and resources.
We are in touch with UN WFP Head Office in Rome and they have informed us that most locations are still at security level 4, thus the logistics cluster are not activating the LET to support in their logistical operations.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will update you as and when the situation changes.
Here are some updates on the situation in Pakistan in ChannelnewsAsia website which is most update.