§ Lord Whitty
We are very conscious of these difficulties, and in particular the urgent need for helicopters, which are the only way of reaching some of the villages affected by the earthquake. We have investigated through both military and civilian channels the possibility of providing helicopters from the UK, but our enquiries suggested that it would be much more cost-effective and considerably quicker to source helicopters from countries closer to Afghanistan. We have provided details of potential suppliers in the region to the UN, who are now securing additional capacity. We have offered to consider requests for funding to meet hire costs, but we understand this is not required at present.
As part of an aid package announced earlier this year we provided £1.9 million to the UN to help agency co-ordination and logistics. This included funding for the UN aircraft which are now being used to deliver relief supplies and personnel to the earthquake affected areas.