Brussels, 1 October 2010
Pakistan: Commissioner Georgieva announces the doubling the funding for flood victims
As millions of people remain in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance, the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, announced that the European Commission will be more than doubling the funds for relief assistance to Pakistan, bringing the total to €150 million. In total, the European Union (Commission and Member States together) is providing relief assistance to the flood victims worth €320 million, and a more comprehensive package will be discussed at the Friends of Democratic Pakistan meeting to be hosted on 14th/15th October by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton.
Pakistan is currently facing unprecedented flooding in most parts of the country, More than 20 million people have been affected by the floods, and more than 12.4 million people are still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Commissioner Georgieva stated, "Bearing in mind the scale of the crisis and the suffering of millions of people, the international community needs to substantially scale up its support to the victims of this disaster. This is the only way to avoid even more suffering. My experts in the field confirm that the UN's $2bn appeal reflects the huge needs faced by the Pakistani People. This is particularly the case in the Southern Sindh Province where fresh flooding continues".
This disaster comes on top of a complex emergency situation, to which the Commission has been responding since 2008, in particular in 2009 when almost 3 million people were displaced in the Northern Provinces and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Commissioner said, "Tragically, many of these internally displaced people were already facing extremely difficult circumstances and have now been exposed to further suffering brought on by the floods. We must ensure that the assistance we are providing to Pakistan takes their urgent needs into account."
The Commission-funded humanitarian projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Crescent movement. Activities covered include health, food, water and sanitation, (emergency) shelter, non-food items (blankets, plastic sheets, hygiene sets, kitchen sets, etc.), psychological support and protection.
EU Member States have already committed a total of €170 million, of which €11 million constitute in-kind assistance, with more pledges announced after the revised UN appeal of 17 September, calling for USD 2 billion for humanitarian aid and early recovery.
Following a request for assistance from the Pakistani Government, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated on 6 August. The Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) within ECHO is in touch with the 31 countries participating in the Mechanism, of whom several have been providing in-kind assistance to Pakistan (e.g. water purification units, emergency health kits, tents, electric generators).
For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm