BRUSSELS: Brussels on Monday announced a further 20 million euros in aid to victims of Pakistan’s 2011 monsoon floods, as well as people displaced by conflict, bringing funding this year to 55 million euros.
While the world had responded with generosity to the country’s devastating 2010 and 2011 floods, “we must not forget that millions of people are still struggling to recover, especially in the province of Sindh,” said the EU’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Kristalina Georgieva.
Floods in Pakistan in the summer of 2011 affected 5.8 million people, with floodwaters killing livestock, destroying crops, homes and infrastructure as the nation struggled to recover from record floods the previous year. In Sindh, three out of four households have insufficient food.
Meanwhile, conflicts linked to army raids against insurgents have left more than 300,000 people displaced in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
In 2011, the EU executive gave 94.9 million euros to Pakistan of emergency aid due to flooding, conflict and the needs of Afghan refugees in the country.
The European Union’s total assistance to Pakistan – including aid from the Commission and member states – amounts to 2,458 billion euros for 2009-2013, or around a third of total annual development assistance to the country.
In a ground-breaking move in February, the World Trade Organization approved a waiver allowing 75 Pakistani products duty free access to European markets for two years to help textile exports after devastating floods in 2010.
The EU is Pakistan’s largest trading partner, receiving almost 30% of its exports – worth almost 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion).
Pakistan’s trade with the EU consists mainly of textiles, which account for more than 70% of its exports to European countries.