The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has been working in Pakistan for a number of years, responding to people affected by natural disasters and conflict. Humanitarian aid to Pakistan has totalled almost € 313 million since 2009. Various relief items were channelled and assistance provided to flood victims through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Pakistan is prone to natural disasters. In 2011, Pakistan faced its second monsoon flood in as many years; affecting almost 6 million people mainly in the country’s southern Provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan.
In 2010, Pakistan suffered one of the worst floods in 80 years which killed more than 1,800 people and affected over 18 million. Leaving a trail of devastation from northern Pakistan to Sindh; almost 12.5 million Pakistanis required urgent humanitarian assistance.
The immediate priorities for the population were shelter, food assistance, the provision of clean drinking water, access to health care and sanitation facilities. The malnutrition situation was also very worrying. The European Commission provided € 150 million humanitarian aid to address the impact of the floods on the Pakistani people
The floods came on the heels of an ongoing crisis where almost three million people were displaced from their homes due to conflict between the military and insurgents in the north of the country back in 2009. Humanitarian aid worth €70 million is being provided to help people uprooted from their homes living in camps or host families with food, health care, shelter and other household items. There are also an estimated 1.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, most of them living in areas near the border of both countries. ECHO has also been funding relief assistance for their voluntary return to Afghanistanas well as addressing their needs in Pakistan.
During the floods in September 2011 the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) received a request for tents, water purification equipment and tablets, blankets and medicines by the Pakistani authorities. The relief items were channelled to flood victims through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The MIC deployed a five-member EU civil protection team to Pakistan to facilitate the coordination of the incoming assistance through the Mechanism.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated also in August 2010, responding to the request for assistance from Pakistan's government.
18 Participating States provided a significant amount of in-kind assistance to Pakistan through the Mechanism (Sweden, Austria, France, Slovakia, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, Cyprus, Malta, Belgium, and Luxembourg). Offers included water purification units, tablets and liquid, shelter, non-food items, medical kits and equipment. The total value of the in-kind assistance provided was € 11.8 million, while the total contributions (cash and in-kind) reached € 271 million.
The MIC facilitated 16 transport operations to support the delivery of assistance provided by Participating States to Pakistan. Among these operations, three were offered through the EU Movement Planning Cell to transport assistance free of charge. The EU co–financed transportation of the assistance to Pakistan in the value of 1.23 million EUR.
A team of EU Civil Protection experts was sent to Pakistan to coordinate the incoming EU in-kind assistance, to liaise with national authorities and to support the UN coordination and assessment teams (UNDAC, UN OCHA, clusters).