European Commission - Press release
New humanitarian aid funding from the European Commission is on its way to the victims of the latest floods in Pakistan
Brussels, 16 September 2011 -The European Commission will provide €10 million in emergency relief to the victims of the monsoon floods in Pakistan. The disaster has already killed more than 200 people, and over 280,000 others have been registered in some 2,000 camps established to accommodate the internally displaced. The Commission's humanitarian assistance will reach out to the victims, bringing them shelter, food, water and healthcare.
"Like last year, the torrential rains have caused massive floods. I had seen then, and I fear now, catastrophic consequences for the people, for their homes and crops. So our help is needed again and we will answer the call of the afflicted," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The torrential rains which started in August are triggering another disaster, after the record devastating floods of last summer. Government sources have put the number of people affected to date at 5 million, mostly in the 22 out of 23 districts of Sindh. Over 1.2 million houses and 1.6 million acres of cropland are badly damaged.
The Pakistani government has called for the support of the European Union and the United Nations in the fast evolving emergency. Islamabad has confirmed the pressing need for tents, aqua tablets, water purification equipment, de-watering pumps and medicines. In view of the request and subject to the results of the ongoing needs assessment undertaken jointly by the Pakistani authorities and the UN, the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre has also invited the Participating States of the Civil Protection Mechanism if they can provide some of the requested items.
"I have already been in touch with Valerie Amos, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, to pledge our full support and collaboration, particularly to the Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance. We want to make sure that we can deliver aid to those who need it the most, according to our humanitarian principles," Commissioner Georgieva added.
European Commission humanitarian aid is provided solely on the guarantee of full independence, unlimited and full access to the areas and people in need, and the possibility of independently assessing, controlling and monitoring any project being funded.
During the summer of July 2010, an area of Pakistan stretching from the Chinese border in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south was hit by the worst flooding in living memory. Over 1,985 people were killed. The agricultural heartland of the country was devastated and there was significant damage to public and private infrastructure.
This disaster came on the heels of an ongoing armed conflict which displaced almost three million people in 2009. There has been a huge international response over the past year. The humanitarian community has provided food for 7 million people, safe drinking water for eight million and medicines for 12 million. The floodwaters killed livestock, destroyed crops, damaged infrastructure and other livelihood assets on an unprecedented scale.
The European Union provided a generous humanitarian response to last year's floods, amounting to € 423 million (€ 150 from the European Commission and €273 million from the EU Member States). A further € 88 million for humanitarian assistance followed in 2011 (€76 million from the European Commission and €12 million from the EU Member States).
In addition to humanitarian aid, the European Commission is providing € 425 million in development assistance to Pakistan in the period 2007-2013. Funded activities focus on rural development/natural resources management and on education/human resources management. Disaster risk reduction and preparedness are an integral part of the implementation of these funds.
Total EU development assistance for Pakistan both from the EU budget and from the Member States for 2009-2013 amounts to over € 2.4 billion, which represents around 30 % of the total annual aid to the country.
For more information
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid:
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)