ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 – The European Union has allocated €1.15 million (over 220 million Pakistani Rupee) in response to the devastating monsoon rains and floods that swept across large parts of Pakistan between August and September. The funding will help address the most pressing needs of close to 175,000 people in the hardest hit provinces of the country. This is part of a multi-donor response that will support over 420,000 people.
“We stand by the people of Pakistan, many of whom have suffered tremendous losses in the wake of the floods,” said Bernard Jaspers-Faijer, head of the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Office in Islamabad. “This contribution from the EU will enable our partners on the ground to scale up their operations and deliver vital assistance to those most in need, helping them to get back on their feet at the earliest possible.”
The aid will support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), a consortium of INGOs working together in the Alliance 2015 (CESVI, ACTED and CONCERN Worldwide) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in providing much-needed assistance to the most affected people. This includes the distribution of emergency food assistance, cash transfers, shelter repair toolkits, clean water supplies and other essential relief items. It will also ensure access to sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices for those hit by the floods. Special attention will be placed on the most vulnerable and marginalised groups, including female-headed households and people with disabilities.
The funding is part of the EU’s Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT) with €1 million, as well the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) with €150,000.
In August, Pakistan experienced a series of severe monsoon rains which caused large-scale floods across the provinces of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, killing more than 400 people and affecting over two million others. The floods have fully destroyed more than 134,000 houses and damaged another 170,000, according to the National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan. The floodwater has also left large swathes of crops in tatters and killed countless livestock, adversely affecting community food reserves and livelihoods. Due to stagnant water, fields and villages are under water for several weeks. In some areas, health facilities are still not functional, restricting access to much-needed healthcare. The most affected region is the southern province of Sindh.
EU humanitarian support in Pakistan amounts to over EUR 82 million since 2016, focusing especially on protection, healthcare, education, basic shelter, food, safe water, sanitation and hygiene to those in the greatest need. This includes people affected by conflict, (Afghan refugees, Pakistani internally displaced and returnees), host communities as well as local communities hit by COVID-19, climate induced emergencies and other natural disasters, helping to strengthen the resilience of most vulnerable local communities.
The Acute Large Emergency Response Tool (ALERT) is used to respond to large natural disasters where over 100,000 people or over 50% of the population are affected. Depending on the type of disaster, the aim is to allocate funds within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the emergency.
The European Commission has signed a €3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.