News / Asia

    Helicopters Needed to Transport Food in Pakistan

    Lisa Schlein

    The World Food Program is appealing for more helicopters so it can deliver desperately needed food to Pakistani flood victims who are cut off from relief.  WFP says it has been able to reach less than one-quarter of those in need of food assistance.

    The World Food Program reports it has been able to reach 1.2 million flood victims with a one-month ration of food, but it notes this is far below the six million people cut off from access and in need of assistance.

    The catastrophic floods that have engulfed large swathes of Pakistani territory have destroyed roads and bridges making it impossible for relief trucks to reach many areas.

    The World Food Program has been airlifting food to inaccessible places, when possible, by helicopter.  WFP spokeswoman, Emilia Casella says the Pakistani military has made 10 helicopters available to the agency.  

    She says WFP soon will have five additional helicopters at its disposal.  She says this will be helpful, but still not enough.  

    "We could be using a lot more helicopters if they become available to us," said Casella.  "I do not have myself an inventory of how many helicopters are currently in the territory of Pakistan… But, certainly as soon as we get any other air assets, they will be immediately in the air delivering food and other supplies as long as the weather permits us to do that."  

    The weather has been dogging this relief operation ever since the monsoon rains arrived three weeks ago.  On good days, Casella says the planes can fly.  But, on bad weather days, the planes are grounded, complicating the relief effort.  

    She says each helicopter can ferry about three metric tons of food.  She says this is not a large amount, so helicopters have to make numerous rotations a day to increase food deliveries to flood-stricken communities.

    "The point is too, we need the helicopters now," Casella added.  "We need the helicopters at this stage of the emergency.  As the waters recede, we will not need the helicopters as much anymore.  We will be able to start using roads.  Bridges will be rebuilt and access will be had… But, for now, we need the helicopters for the locations that are cut off.  And, I do not have a figure for how many helicopters.  You could probably bring in a lot of helicopters and we would use them all."  

    Official estimates put the number of people affected by the floods at 20 million, with nearly 7.5 million severely affected.  These are the people who escaped the floodwaters with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

    The emergency food operation is costly.  The World Food Program has appealed for $150 million to provide food aid over the next three months.  It says it has received nearly half that amount.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora