What are the needs?
The north-west of Pakistan, along the Afghan border, has been affected by large-scale internal displacements over the last few years due to military operations and insurgent activity. The most recent conflict developments in 2014 prompted the displacement of over a million people, adding tremendous pressure on the already limited facilities in the hosting areas. This has strained the resources of national and international humanitarian organisations, who were already struggling to provide relief to those displaced by previous military operations. Despite an acceleration of returns since the second half of 2015, the total registered number of displaced persons in the border province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was still over one million in mid-2016.
Displaced families require shelter, food, medicines, safe drinking water and education services for their children.
Natural disasters add to Pakistan’s suffering. After five years of consecutive floods in Sindh province, which have affected over 30 million people, pockets of the same province have been facing drought, further affecting the livelihoods, food security, and overall resilience of communities. Malnutrition rates among children in this region are well above the global emergency levels.
In addition, the situation of over 1.5 million registered Afghan refugees and an estimated 1.2 million additional unregistered Afghans also remains a matter of concern. Despite sustained efforts by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), that has assisted the repatriation of more than 3.9 million refugees since 2002, and the countries concerned (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran), a resolution for the three-decade-old refugee crisis has not yet been found.
How are we helping?
The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has been working in Pakistan since the 1990s. The European commission has provided humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and major natural disasters, including the 2005 earthquake and the devastating floods between 2010 and 2015. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was also activated to provide relief items to flood victims.
Since 2009, EU humanitarian aid to people in need in Pakistan has exceeded €541 million. This includes an allocation of €25.5 million for 2016.
The European Commission continues to support people affected by conflict, under nutrition and food insecurity through its NGO, UN and Red Cross/Red Crescent partners. EU funds provide for cash programming, livelihood support, shelter, health care, nutrition, basic education, access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and protection for conflict-displaced families in camps, as well as to those living in host families outside the camps.