EU unveils humanitarian aid for Pakistan, Iran – Journal
ISLAMABAD: The European Union has announced renewed support for the poorest in Iran and Pakistan with 22 million euros in humanitarian aid.
The package, announced Monday from EU headquarters in Brussels, will help people affected by man-made crises, the Covid-19 pandemic and climate-induced and other natural disasters in the region.
Of the 22 million euros, 7 million euros will go to humanitarian organizations in Pakistan, focusing on the most vulnerable local populations, Afghans, as well as host communities. Assistance will include Afghans and Pakistanis affected by conflict, displacement, Covid-19 and natural disasters, including malnutrition.
€ 22 million package will help people affected by Covid-19, climate disasters and other natural disasters
Pakistan is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world and frequently experiences multiple disasters such as floods, droughts, heat waves and earthquakes. Floods and drought have repeatedly affected the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan.
High levels of malnutrition, coupled with limited access to water, sanitation and medical services, have compromised the health care capacities of the most vulnerable communities. The current coronavirus outbreak has added to existing humanitarian needs.
In 2021, the European Union allocated € 7 million, in part to help those affected by conflict, including Pakistani internally displaced persons and returnees, Afghan refugees, as well as those affected by natural hazards.
Earlier in 2020, nearly € 40 million was allocated to help those affected by the conflict, including Pakistani internally displaced and returnees, Afghan refugees, as well as those affected by natural disasters. Nearly 60% of the total funding has been devoted to the fight against the health emergency posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has strained the country’s health systems.
The € 15 million grant will focus on supporting humanitarian organizations working in Iran to help the country’s most vulnerable Iranians and Afghans. Part of the funding will support the country’s fight against the severe coronavirus pandemic, including the provision of emergency medical supplies.
EU humanitarian funding also supports Iran’s laudable efforts to assist Afghans in its territory and host communities with education, health, protection and livelihoods.
EU Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said: “Iran and Pakistan are both very vulnerable to recurring natural hazards, with the situation in both countries being made worse by the severe coronavirus pandemic. Iran and Pakistan are also the main host countries for Afghan refugees in the world. The EU is stepping up its support for humanitarian organizations in both countries at this critical time. ”
In Pakistan, while the health situation linked to Covid-19 has not reached emergency levels and has recently improved considerably, the pandemic has seriously exacerbated the country’s economic challenges. This has seriously exacerbated the challenges of the most vulnerable segments of the population, including Afghans and especially undocumented migrants, who depend on daily work.
Pakistan hosts around 3 million Afghans. The loss of livelihoods has caused many people to resort to negative coping mechanisms, increasing protection problems. Of particular concern is the increase in malnutrition and food insecurity.
EU humanitarian funding in Pakistan will focus on supporting people affected by conflict, both Pakistanis and Afghans, as well as building the resilience and capacity of vulnerable communities to better respond to epidemics and natural hazards such as earthquakes, recurrent floods and drought.
Posted in Dawn, July 13, 2021