A senior United Nations official said Tuesday there were not enough tents in the world to protect refugees from the coming winter after the October 8 earthquake in South Asia.

Tents are a priority item with around three million people made homeless, many of them forced to live in the open in plummeting temperatures in Pakistan-
controlled Kashmir and parts of North West Frontier Province.

“It is fair to say the indication is that there are not enough tents in the world available to support the requirements,” Andrew MacLeod, chief operations officer in the UN emergency response centre in Islamabad, told AFP.

Pakistan on Tuesday banned all exports of tents, a day after it said it would even buy tents from its rival India.

The UN has said it had already exhausted the supply of the vital items in Pakistan, which is itself the world’s biggest producer of so-called winterized tents.

“If there is another emergency in the next few months (elsewhere in the world) it will be very difficult. So that is a huge issue right now,” UN spokeswoman Amanda Pitt said.

Pitt said it was impossible to give a definitive figure on how many tents were needed, but said authorities were working on a homeless figure of between 2.8 and 3.2 million, with an average of five members per family.

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So there you go. It’s official. The number of people needing shelter from the cold is now officially larger than the number of tents that could shelter them.

And it gets cold in Kashmir and environs. Foothills of the Himalayas, you know.

How is the ratio of FEMA trailers holding up? There seem to be so many problems with getting those put to use in US, maybe they can send some to Pakistan.

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