The EU ready to increase its assistance to Pakistan and urges continued reform
Today, EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs arrived, together with German Development Minister Dirk Niebel, in Islamabad for a joint visit to Pakistan. The Commissioner will reaffirm the intentions of the European Commission to increase its development assistance to Pakistan by 50%, from €50 to €75 million a year for 2011-2013. The aid programmes will continue to focus on rural development, support for education and stronger governance.
Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Niebel will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and other high-level representatives of the government and the National Assembly. He will also hold discussions with members of civil society and representatives of provincial authorities. The Commissioner will underline the need for increased efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The EU understands that Pakistan faces multiple challenges today on the road to the eradication of poverty and will continue to provide support to address the country's needs. I will encourage the authorities to speed up the political and economic reform process. This is the only way Pakistan can move towards sustainable economic growth and stability".
The EU and Pakistan will also discuss the next steps towards an EU-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, including important economic aspects such as development and market access, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, but also human rights, and peace-building issues.
During his trip, Commissioner Piebalgs will also visit several EU-funded projects geared towards supporting trade and economic development.
Facts and figures on EU-Pakistan relations
At the last EU-Pakistan Summit in 2010, the two parties agreed to establish a strategic dialogue to take relations to a new level, which would involve the joint development of a five-year engagement plan.
EU assistance to Pakistan
Total assistance for Pakistan by the EU and its Member States for the time 2009-2013 amounts to € 2,458 billion, which represents around 30 % of the total annual development assistance to the country.
The EU provides € 425 million (2007-2013) though its budget to Pakistan (via the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI)) Activities under this Instrument focus on rural development/natural resources management and on education/human resources management.
- European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR): €600.000 annual allocation, as from 2011: €900.000
- Food facility: €80 million
- Instrument for Stability (IfS): €51 million
- European Investment Bank: €100 million (loan)
EU floods response
In response to the 2010 floods, the EU and its Member States provided humanitarian assistance worth € 423 million (2010) which represented around 30 % of the total international contribution for humanitarian relief operations to the flood affected population.
The European Commission's humanitarian response to the floods amounted to €150 million (2010).
For 2011: €70 million have been committed for assistance to the conflict affected population in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and for the consequences of the floods in the Southern Provinces
The EU is Pakistan's main trading partner. In 2010, imports from Pakistan reached €3.8 billion EU exports to Pakistan reached 3.66 billion.
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