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European Commission - Press release

The Commission to provide shelter, food, water and healthcare to victims of Pakistan's floods

Brussels, 17 October 2011 - The European Commission is to boost its funding for emergency relief to Pakistan. In addition to € 98 million for humanitarian assistance provided so far in 2011 (€86 million from the EC and €12 million from the EU Member States) another €6.5 million will be provided from the Commission's humanitarian budget to bring water and shelter, food and medical care to the victims of the monsoon floods , especially in Sindh province. This second successive year of flooding is affecting over 5.4 million people and has so far displaced more than 1.8 million.

"For many people still recovering from last years' floods, the situation is catastrophic. Our teams of experts in the country have confirmed the urgent need for assistance, so we are answering the call. Europe is committed to keeping the international community involved in helping the people of Pakistan", said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

European Commission humanitarian aid is channelled through its humanitarian partners in the field including non-governmental organisations (NGO's), specialised UN agencies, and the Red Cross/Crescent movement. The Commission provides aid solely on the guarantee of full independence, unlimited and full access to the areas and people in need, as well as the means to independently assess, control and monitor any projects it funds.

The Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) deployed an EU civil protection team of five experts to Pakistan to co-ordinate assistance provided by European countries through the civil protection mechanism. The 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Croatia, Liechtenstein and Norway pool resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world.

Background

Pakistan is again facing the humanitarian consequences of armed violence (in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Baluchistan and Karachi) and a natural disaster.

A year on from the devastating floods the annual monsoon rains have created another emergency in the country. Since the second week of August 2011 monsoon rain has flooded various parts of Pakistan, with the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan most severely affected. The floods hit some of the same provinces of Pakistan as last year's floods, where the resilience of the local population remains very low. In addition new areas are now covered in water.

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).

In addition to humanitarian aid, the European Commission is providing € 425 million in development assistance to Pakistan during the period 2007-2013. Development support focuses 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. This represents around 30 % of the total annual aid to the country.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)


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