Friday, October 28, 2005

Helicopters may soon be grounded in Pakistan

Helicopters ferrying food and supplies to Pakistan's quake victims stranded in the Himalayas may have to be grounded in just days if donors fail to increase emergency relief aid, a U.N. official warned. Aid workers are scrambling to supply the millions of Pakistanis who have no food, water, shelter or medicine in the freezing temperatures of the Himalayas, said Robert Smith, financial expert at the United Nations' leading disaster-relief body, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Workers have resorted to rafts and pack mules to reach them, but helicopters, though costly, have proven the most useful.

"When the money runs out, the choppers stay on the ground and that's what's going to start happening in the next couple of days. One large helicopter can cost up to $6,000 ($A8000) per hour. Nobody is using helicopters for fun," he added.

Source: GEO TV
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