11 October 2005

Secretary-General, Noting Activation of UN Agencies, Seeks Coordinated, International Response to South Asia Earthquake Disaster

NEW YORK, 10 October (UN Headquarters) -- This statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General is greatly encouraged to see the rapid and large response by the international community to the devastating earthquake that has struck the people of Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan and India.

The emergency teams dispatched by the United Nations have been working since 8 October around the clock in support of national authorities to ensure a rapid assessment of the needs and an effective coordination of international assistance.  To this end, coordination centres of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have been established in Islamabad, and in Muzaffarabad close to the epicentre.

The Secretary-General encourages all international actors to work together to achieve full coordination of all international efforts in support of the national rescue efforts.

Agencies of the United Nations system -- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) -- have immediately activated their in-country capacities and dispatched relief supplies and sectoral experts.

* *** *