HUNDREDS OF British engineers are gearing up for a major mission to Pakistan to respond to the human cost of any allied actions against Afghanistan.
RedR (Engineers for Disaster Relief) has put many of its members on standby to fly to Afghanistan at short notice.
Engineers are needed to ensure that water, sanitation and shelter are provided for the 8M Afghans that the UN predicts will need help this winter.
The first RedR member arrived on the scene last week to carry out a needs assessment on behalf of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
This will identify numbers of refugees and camps needed to shelter them, water availability, likely locations of latrines and the logistics of food and water provision.
A report is expected by the weekend, with six more RedR engineers likely to be called up immediately. Other RedR members are already out in the field, with more than 140 of the 1,400 registered members on emergency standby.
RedR training courses are being booked up quickly by aid agencies preparing to send relief workers to Afghanistan.
The RedR training team is assessing whether to update its security training in light of the 11 September terrorist attacks.
RedR recently ran a security management workshop in Peshawar, northern Pakistan for local and international aid agencies operating in Afghanistan.