By Zack Taylor
On October 8, 2005, a 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and AJK, killing 74,000 people and injuring 70,000. In the years since the devastating earthquake, reconstruction of the region has been an important component of the development portfolio at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pakistan.
Read more about efforts to rebuild lives and livlihoods of the families and communities who live in this remote, mountainous province in Pakistan.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the U.S. government mobilized all of its available resources. Military helicopters transported survivors out of destroyed cities and brought in thousands of tons of relief materials such as food, medical services, clothing, and tents in collaboration with the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team. Heavy machinery moved debris to search for victims and set the stage for rebuilding.
The close teamwork of Pakistani and U.S. governments, along
with other international donor organizations and NGOs, prepared the remote, devastated region for the inevitable onset of winter and averted another tragedy for the survivors.
As the dust settled, USAID joined ERRA, the new Pakistani Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority, in planning and managing the massive task of rebuilding the region. Learn more about the reconstruction program here.
“We saw the situation as an opportunity – a chance to help rebuild more than schools and health centers, but whole communities,” USAID Mission Director Bob Wilson said. “Not only did we replace bricks and mortar, but also provided isolated areas with technical assistance to improve local administration and delivery of health and education services.”