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IP/10/1085

Brussels, 1 September 2010

The Commission and Member States join efforts to transport large relief aid to Pakistan

An Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft is leaving for Pakistan today with 100 tons of assistance provided in a joint effort by Germany, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic, which is offering the plane on a cost-free basis. This shipment is coordinated by the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) which has currently a team of civil protection experts to Pakistan to monitor the distribution of EU in-kind assistance. The team will welcome the new aid delivery at the airport in Islamabad when the plane arrives.

The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva has declared: "This joint operation shows clearly that when Europe works together we deliver our aid better, cheaper and more efficiently."

The material transported will include equipment to set up 10 medical posts, medical equipment, material for shelters and other urgently needed relief items for the victims of the floods in Pakistan.

The Antonov airplane, one of the biggest cargo-lifters available worldwide, is picking up assistance today from Brindisi / Italy, stop over in Leipzig to upload shelter material from Germany and Austria before leaving for Islamabad tonight.

The MIC has worked in close cooperation with the Council´s Movement Planning Cell which has identified flight options. Two further aircraft are planned to provide additional assistance from the UK and Denmark on Saturday and Sunday.

Background

Since the beginning of this crisis the European Commission (ECHO) and the EU Member States have provided more than €230 million for aid to the victims of this overwhelming disaster.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) has been activated to respond to the request for assistance from Pakistan's government. The Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) within ECHO has been in touch with all 31 countries participating in the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm


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