Thursday, August 12, 2010

Floods in Pakistan: Commission provides additional €10 million in emergency aid to address humanitarian needs


The European Commission has adopted a €10 million emergency decision to further assist the most vulnerable people in Pakistan affected by the disastrous floods. The aid decision takes immediate effect and comes as an addition to the €30 million for humanitarian assistance allocated by the Commission on 30 July (see IP/10/1018).

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President said: "My heartfelt condolences go to all those affected by this crisis and the European Union stands ready to support Pakistan both in financial and political terms in dealing with the consequences of this terrible event."

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Pakistan's terrible floods now affect almost fourteen million people and these numbers could rise as flood waters continue to move towards the more densely populated south. One third of the country is flooded and so far more than 290,000 houses have been damaged. First assessments show that the flood victims are in dire need of clean drinking water, shelter, food, non-food items (like blankets and hygiene kits) and medical assistance. Our additional emergency funds of €10 million will cover these needs through relief operations in all flood-affected areas in the country."

The scale of the floods, reported as being the most serious in the last 80 years, exceeds by far the Commission's €30 million humanitarian aid allocation from the end of July, especially as those funds were primarily destined for conflict-affected populations in some parts of the country, including the many internally displaced persons. These populations need urgent assistance as the have no more capacities to cope with a reiteration of natural and man-made disasters and are plunged into total despair.

Over the last twelve months, including today's allocation the Commission has given a total of €111.25 million in aid for the victims of humanitarian crises in Pakistan.

The Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO) has experts on the ground in Pakistan who closely follow the developments in the humanitarian situation and monitor the use of the Commission's relief funds. The Commission-funded humanitarian projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Crescent movement. ECHO also has a support office in Islamabad.

EU Civil Protection activated

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has also been activated after a request for assistance from Pakistan's government to the international community. The Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) within ECHO is in touch with the 31 countries participating in the European civil protection Mechanism. Several participating states have offered in-kind assistance through the Mechanism. The MIC is also deploying a liaison officer to facilitate the coordination of any further civil protection assistance.

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