Manufacturers of tents and blankets in Pakistan are reporting that they are operating at full capacity as they meet the demands of those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, as well as the millions of people who were displaced by floods in Pakistan last year.
Pakistan is a leading producer and exporter of high-quality tents, including military, camping, relief, and event tents. The National Tent House, the largest tent manufacturing facility in Pakistan, is providing aid products to various global humanitarian agencies, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, International Committee of the Red Cross, UNICEF, and UNHCR. Mohammad Ahmed, the director of business development at NTH, said that the manufacturer has so far supplied over 15,000 tents and over 200,000 blankets for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria from their facilities in Lahore and Karachi. The NTH is one of the only three suppliers of family tents for UNHCR, and in 2009, it was the UN’s top vendor in terms of “purchase order value.”
Shabab Ahmed, the ex-chairman and current executive member of the Pakistan Canvas and Tents Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PCTMEA), said that during the floods, the association supplied 0.2 million tents in just 30 days, and they can produce up to 0.5 million tents and two million blankets every month.
Pakistan’s economic crisis has made it challenging to manufacture tents and blankets, as the country is attempting to revive a $6.5 billion loan program with the IMF while its forex reserves have reached alarmingly low levels.
The restrictions on imports have caused commercial banks to halt issuing letters of credit to importers, causing significant setbacks to manufacturers who rely on raw materials for production. Despite these challenges, humanitarian aid agencies continue to purchase Pakistani products during emergencies, making it difficult for manufacturers to supply the products on time.