The United Nations sent an emergency coordination team to Pakistan immediately to begin relief efforts after a massive earthquake left more than 3,000 people dead in southern Asia.
The eight-member team from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, was due to arrive in Islamabad Sunday morning to help set up a center for coordinating the global body's emergency response.
The U.N. might send more staff to Pakistan later, she said. The international Red Cross said it also was busily preparing an emergency response in case Pakistan asked for assistance.
Earlier Saturday, two local Pakistan Red Crescent groups were deployed to Pakistan's northwest frontier and another one to Kashmir to assess the damage, said Marie-Francoise Borel, spokeswoman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Geneva-based federation already has released 200,000 Swiss francs for immediate aid and "was preparing an international response if Pakistan says they need our help," she said, AP reports.