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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 24 June 2013

The European Commission provides additional support for newly displaced people in Pakistan

The European Commission is providing additional funding of €10 million to finance urgently needed humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people recently displaced by violence and armed conflict in the North-West of Pakistan. The aid is expected to reach over 200 000 internally displaced people (IDPs) with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable, including women, children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Pakistanis are suffering. Nearly two hundred thousand people have recently been displaced due to fighting, bringing the total number of displaced people in this region to over 1.2 million. There is an urgent need to address the basic humanitarian needs of vulnerable families who have left behind their houses and livelihoods, and who today have no means of meeting their daily needs. Europe's solidarity is crucial in times of crisis like this".

The additional funds will be allocated to address the most urgent humanitarian needs, including emergency food assistance, access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, basic health care services, as well as emergency shelter and protection and support services.

The delivery of aid will be targeted to those in greatest need and channelled through the Commission's humanitarian partners including UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent family and international non-government organisations.

This additional funding brings the European Commission's 2013 humanitarian assistance in Pakistan to a total of € 52 million. The Commission has been funding humanitarian aid in Pakistan since the 1990s, responding to the needs of people affected by conflict and natural disasters, most notably following the 2005 earthquake and 2010 and 2011 floods. With the new allocation, EU humanitarian aid to Pakistan totals almost € 440 million since 2009. In 2012, the Commission was the largest humanitarian donor in Pakistan covering some 35% of the humanitarian funding for 2012. Assistance and relief items were also channelled to flood victims through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Background

Over the past four years, military operations by the Government against non-state armed groups and on-going sectarian violence, have led to significant population displacement in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of North-West Pakistan. Close to 1.25 million people are currently displaced in these areas, including an estimated 200 000 people who have fled the fighting since the beginning of the year. While some are in camps, an overwhelming majority have taken refuge among host communities, whose resources have already been depleted due to the protracted nature of the crisis.

According to OCHA, the UN humanitarian body, only 50% of the required $327 million for humanitarian assistance in KP and FATA are presently available. It is estimated that an additional $160 million is required to address the most pressing needs and bring temporary relief to the displaced populations and host communities for the period June-December 2013.

The European Commission's current humanitarian involvement in Pakistan focuses on three separate but interdependent crises: support for the conflict-affected population and internally displaced persons (IDPs, more than 1.1 million people); support for the food insecure populations whose situation has been aggravated by recurrent flooding; and support for the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan (around 1.7 million people), mostly through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Response to natural disasters is also an integral part of the humanitarian commitment, together with disaster risk reduction.

Responding to the on-going and evolving humanitarian situation, the Commission has reacted quickly to help over 150,000 displaced families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA – many of whom are particularly vulnerable, such as women or child-headed families. The Commission is funding assistance to displaced families in camps as well as those living in host families outside the camps: food assistance, shelter, health care, access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and protection.

The Commission is also shoring up its humanitarian efforts to provide nutritional support to children and women among flood-affected households, particularly in the Sindh province.

For more information

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

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

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

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

Contacts :

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)


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