TOKYO — Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force began its disaster relief efforts in Pakistan on Tuesday, using two helicopters to ferry medical supplies, food and other relief supplies to flood-stricken Punjab province.

The Foreign Ministry announced that Japan is contributing about $14.6 million worth of assistance to Pakistan and that JGSDF units based in the city of Multan are acting as a disaster relief team to assist in the humanitarian relief effort.

Altogether, six UH-1 helicopters will be involved in the flood relief mission in the province, where some 8.2 million people have been affected by massive flooding, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department reported the U.S. is providing some $200 million to assist with relief and recovery efforts.

“We are also expanding pre-existing programs in flood-affected areas, providing temporary bridges, and mobilizing significant U.S. military and civilian resources to rescue victims of the disaster and deliver needed supplies,” the department said in its Aug. 26 report on relief efforts. To date, U.S. military and civilian aircraft have evacuated 8,010 people and delivered more than 1.8 million pounds of relief supplies.

From staff reports

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