ISLAMABAD: The European Commission (EC) has allocated an additional 40 million euros in emergency assistance for those affected by the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, as well as for Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran.
This brings total EU humanitarian aid for Afghan crisis to 77m euros in 2019; 61m euros in Afghanistan, 9m euros in Pakistan and 7m euros in Iran, the EU mission in Islamabad announced on Saturday.
The humanitarian outlook in Afghanistan is as bleak as ever. Not only has the conflict between the government and non-state armed groups intensified since the beginning of the year, but devastating floods have also hit this war-torn country.
In Pakistan, the EU funding will provide assistance to Afghan refugees, as well as internally displaced Pakistanis.
In Iran, EU aid will ensure the delivery of vital assistance, including protection and access to basic services such as education and healthcare, to Afghan refugees in the country.
The EU is boosting humanitarian aid to help those most in need, especially children, a press release of EC quoted the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides as saying.
The new funding will get aid to the most vulnerable families across the country, focusing on the victims of war, forced displacement and natural disasters, as well as returning Afghan refugees.
This includes providing emergency healthcare, shelter, food, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and protection services, targeting women and children, it says.
The EU has funded humanitarian operations in Afghanistan since 1992, providing up to 872m euros to date. Funds are allocated strictly on the basis of the humanitarian principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality to ensure access to those in need and are only provided to humanitarian organisations. Last year, the EU allocated 5.5m euros to provide assistance to internally displaced Pakistanis and Afghan refugees, as well as to strengthen the resilience and the capacity of vulnerable communities to respond to future natural disasters.
Current humanitarian actions in Pakistan focus on three interrelated crises: support for people affected by the conflict in the northwest; Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and those affected by food insecurity.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2019