January 15, 2006: CMAT is pleased to report that it has successfully completed distribution of 1,000 badly needed winterized tents and 5,000 thermal quilts to Pakistan quake survivors. Out of the 400,000 tents that were deployed in the weeks following the October 8, 2006 quake, over 90% were not suitable for winter conditions.
In the distribution of the items, CMAT staff met with village leaders, surveyed the destroyed homes and recorded names of each family deserving of a tent and blankets. The most vulnerable families were prioritized. The first distribution took place on Friday, December 23 in the village of Bajla which had been entirely destroyed and had not yet received aid. A total of 3,000 families were assisted through the project and over 18,000 persons.
Since then, two more distributions occurred – with tents going to Chala Bandi, Ghori region, Anwar Sharif, and other areas. Many are remote villages and in desperate need of shelter. Distribution was managed and coordinated by CMAT with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who provided transport, and the Pakistan Red Crescent, who provided security. The $250,000 USD shelter project was awarded to CMAT by Michigan-based Mercy-USA.
On Saturday, January 14, CMAT staff in Muzzaffarabad hosted Ontario’s Commissioner of Emergency Management, Mr. Julian Fantino, and Minister Mike Colle (Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration). They chatted with CMAT representatives over Tim Horton’s coffee prepared on an open campfire. Mr. Fantino and Minister Colle are touring the devastated areas in Pakistan to demonstrate their support for the earthquake victims. Mr. Fantino and Minister Colle toured the former DART hospital in Garhi Dupatta which was handed over to the Pakistan Red Crescent and is being
staffed by CMAT physicians and nurses under a CIDA and Mercy-USA funded project, and were briefed on CMAT’s relief operations in Pakistan to date.