Europe coordinating aid to help govt cope with flood emergency

Published September 8, 2022
Flood-affected people carry heavy sacks of animal feed or husk on their heads as they wade through waist-deep water in Dera Allah Yar, Jaffarabad district.—AFP
Flood-affected people carry heavy sacks of animal feed or husk on their heads as they wade through waist-deep water in Dera Allah Yar, Jaffarabad district.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: The European Com­mission (EC) says it is coordinating incoming aid offers to help Pakistan face the ongoing emergency of extensive flooding, following the request of assistance from Pakistani authorities.

The European Civil Protection Mechanism is deploying one liaison officer to help coordinate the arrival of further aid. The assistance comes on top of 2.15 million euros in EU humanitarian funding released over the past weeks to support families affected by flash floods and new humanitarian funding of 200,000 euros for the disaster response emergency fund, the EC says.

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, said the dramatic scale of the flooding emergency in Pakistan and the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation has triggered immediate EU support.

“Shelter, food and health are only some of the several pressing needs of this complex emergency demanding to be addressed in the shortest period of time,” he said.

FAO plans to distribute $8.46m agriculture inputs among farmers for Rabi season

“Offers received so far from EU member states include 300 family tents from Belgium and another 300 from Sweden; 83 mobile water pumps, 200 family tents, 1,000 ground sheets, 200 kitchen kits, 400 hygiene kits, a team of 8 doctors and 4 technicians and one bailey bridge from France; a water purification team from Denmark; and 400,000 antigen tests and 10,000 examination gloves from Austria,” Mr Lenarcic said.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government has donated a consignment of Ceylon Tea to flood victims. Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry handed over the consignment of tea to the High Commissioner of Pakistan Umar Farooq Burki in Colombo.

FAO seeks $17m

In a related development, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has sought $17.9 million from donor countries to enable farmers and livestock keepers in the most affected districts of Pakistan to immediately access time-critical production inputs and restore their livelihoods in the aftermath of the most disastrous floods that hit the country this year.

The FAO, in a report, said the assistance for the next six months was urgently required to sustainably improve the food security and nutrition of the affected communities by increasing the supply of affordable and nutritious food in local markets.

So far, the report said, only six per cent of the estimated funding requirements had been secured leaving a funding gap of 94 per cent.

The UN agency said it had drawn a roadmap for the restoration of agriculture and livelihood of farmers, and planned to distribute agricultural production inputs for the coming Rabi season worth $8.46 million.

Besides, it said, it would provide 76,900 households consisting of 515,230 people with 3,845 tons of wheat seed, 3,845 tons of urea and 3.845 tons of diammonium phosphate along with kitchen gardening packages and training on food agricultural practices.

It also plans to spend $0.91 million on livestock vaccination and vaccinate 683,400 large and small ruminants against major animal diseases including lumpy skin disease (LSD).

The FAO also plans to distribute animal feed worth $8.45m among 113,900 households comprising 763,000 people with 22, 780 tons of animal feed, the report said.

IRC warning

In Sindh alone, it said, over 90,000 cases of diarrhea had been reported in a single day. Other diseases being reported are eye and skin infection. “Due to recent floods more than 800 health facilities have been damaged and this disease outbreak is causing strain on the existing ones. Shortage of medicine supplies is also a challenge that aid agencies are facing in the country,” the IRC said.

Meanwhile, the International Res­cue Committee warned that the impact of flooding on women and children continues to be devastating as figures coming in and assessments being finalized show a very disturbing picture.

The IRC, in an update on Wednes­day, said it had so far reached out to 46,299 beneficiaries in affected areas. Immediate life-saving response has been ongoing in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Services exten­ded till date include distribution of non-food items, hygiene kits, food baskets and establishing of medical camps and safe spaces.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022

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