EU scales up assistance to Rs6.7bn for flood victims

New funding aims to address most urgent needs including food, medical services


Our Correspondent October 05, 2022
President of the European Union (EU) Commission Ursula von der Leyen met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

The European Union has announced to scale up its assistance to Pakistan by Rs6.7 billion to help people affected by torrential floods in order to address the most urgent needs in a more substantial manner.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, announced PKR 6.7 billion (€30 million) in humanitarian aid for Pakistan.

The commissioner is visiting Pakistan this week to get a first-hand impression of the impact of the catastrophic floods and of the ongoing relief efforts.

According to a statement, the new funding aims to address the most urgent needs such as basic shelters, clean drinking water and sanitation, food and nutrition as well as medical services.

The actions funded by the European Union will ensure that women, children and other vulnerable people are protected from further harm and that children have again access to education as quickly as possible.

The cash assistance will enable people cover their basic needs and rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Given the scale of the crisis, the psychological impact on affected people will also be taken into account. Commissioner Lenarčič said: “People in Pakistan are suffering the devastating consequences of an unprecedented flooding emergency.

"Our thoughts are with those who lost family members, friends and their own homes. What is more, many livelihoods have been lost. With this new funding, the EU reaffirms its continued support to Pakistan and stands by the most vulnerable to help them fulfil basic needs," he said.

He also emphasised the ecological aspect of the disaster and said, "once again, however, nature reminded us of the impact of global warming. Mainstreaming disaster preparedness and prevention in EU-funded projects will therefore remain our top priority within the provision of humanitarian assistance".

Upon arrival in Pakistan, Commissioner Lenarcic travelled to Khipro in Sindh province to understand the scale of the disaster, speak to affected communities and see the European assistance that is already provided on the ground.

He visited a water purification plant run by a Danish civil protection team and a humanitarian project implemented by an EU-funded international non-governmental organization. Together as “Team Europe”, the European Union and its member states have already committed €93 mio to date.

With the additional funds announced today, this reaches a total of €123 mio. In addition, European civil protection agencies have provided in-kind donations of tents, blankets, medical equipment as well as experts and technicians.

The European Commission's Copernicus satellite service collects real-time data and provides high-resolution maps to support the assessment of the situation in the most affected areas.

The EU’s Global Flood Monitoring (GFM) system can help teams working on the ground and the national and provincial authorities monitor the situation and direct resources accordingly.

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