Brussels, 27 September 2012
Pakistan: Increased EU funding for double humanitarian crisis
The European Union has announced additional funding of €15 million in order to continue delivering immediate relief to the victims of two humanitarian crises in Pakistan. These funds will provide assistance to those affected by the on-going conflict in the north of the country as well as to the victims of three successive years of major flooding in the south. The additional funding brings the European Commission's 2012 humanitarian contribution for Pakistan to a total of €70 million.
Food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in Sindh province, have been giving rise to serious concern for some time and there is a risk that the new flooding which has occurred over the last two weeks will mean an even more drastic deterioration of the situation. Several hundred thousand of the most vulnerable victims of the conflict and floods, including women, children, the elderly, the disabled and the marginalised, will benefit from the boost.
Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for Humanitarian Aid, Civil Protection and Crisis Response said: "These two largely unreported crises in Pakistan are affecting tens of thousands of vulnerable people in the north and the south of the country. They have brought suffering to all those who have fled their homes due to the internal conflict, and to the victims of three consecutive years of devastating monsoon floods which have destroyed livelihoods and left behind lingering food shortages and hunger. Thanks to our humanitarian teams on the ground, we have been able to continuously monitor these twin crises and react accordingly, and are once again boosting our assistance to these voiceless and fragile populations."
The additional assistance to be provided for those affected by both crises will include emergency food and nutritional assistance, safe drinking water and the rehabilitation of public water points, hygiene and sanitation facilities, basic health care services, emergency shelter materials, as well as camp coordination and management. Disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness components will be integrated in order to try to alleviate the impact of future natural disasters.
The delivery of aid funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) department will be targeted to those in greatest need and channelled through its humanitarian partners including UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and International Non-Government Organisations.
In recent years the impact of the monsoon has been devastating in many parts of Pakistan. During the summer of 2011, the country was hit by severe floods, affecting around 5.8 million people. The floodwaters killed livestock, destroyed crops, damaged infrastructure and other assets. They also affected some of the regions that had already been hit by the 2010 floods - the worst in living memory – where the resilience of local people was still very low. Sindh province was particularly hard hit: almost 72% of households still have insufficient food and the level of acute malnutrition in children under five is reported to have reached 17.5%. At least 2.2 million people have again been affected by heavy monsoon flooding in Pakistan in September 2012. As a consequence, there are still serious emergency needs in food, nutrition, water and sanitation, healthcare, and shelter.
Apart from the natural disasters, the country is also affected by several conflicts which continue to displace hundreds of thousands of civilians, generating needs for assistance and protection. Since January of this year, military operations in Khyber agency, part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), have triggered an additional wave of 361 000 internally displaced people (IDP's) from FATA to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Overall, more than 741,000 people are now displaced in the North, and the figure may actually be higher as many people do not register or are refused registration. 11% of those displaced are living in three camps while the rest stay in host communities outside, with most in need of some type of humanitarian assistance.
For more information
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)