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Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

9. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in the earthquake region of Pakistan. (96578)

During my recent visit to the earthquake-affected areas I saw at first hand the current situation and the changes that have taken place since the earthquake. Much has already been achieved. Thousands of people have been given semi-permanent shelter. Pre-fabricated housing and weather-proof tents have been provided. All health and education facilities are working, in permanent or temporary structures.

The immediate challenge for the Pakistani government is the coming winter. They have worked with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors on a comprehensive winter contingency plan. The UK is ready to provide additional help if required during this period.