An official website of the European Union. See all European Institutions
European Union brings relief to drought-hit communities in southern Pakistan
Islamabad, 11 March 2019 – In response to the severe drought which is affecting large parts of southern Pakistan, the European Union is allocating EUR 100 000 in humanitarian funding to bring life-saving assistance to the most affected communities. The aid will directly benefit 15 000 people in two of the hardest hit pockets in the region, namely Tharparkar district in Sindh Province and Naushki district in Balochistan Province.
The EU funding supports the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in delivering immediate assistance through the distribution of cash grants, enabling affected families to purchase essential items like food and fodder for their livestock, and the provision of safe drinking water through the installation of solar-powered boreholes and storage facilities. PRCS will also conduct hygiene and water treatment awareness activities, and conduct a detailed needs assessment to determine the longer term needs of at-risk communities in Sindh and Balochistan.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Following a lack of monsoon rainfall last summer, large parts of Southern Pakistan are presently experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, affecting an estimated 4.4 million people. The situation in Sindh and Balochistan provinces is fast developing into one of the worst natural disasters the country has faced in recent years. The lack of water has badly hit food production systems, which is in turn affecting the health of local communities, particularly women and children. Recent assessments have shown that as many as 71% of households in these areas are food insecure, and malnutrition rates amongst both children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women are alarmingly high.
The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the European Union helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit ECHO's website.
The European Commission has signed a EUR 3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of EUR 3 million.
For further information, please contact:
Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): Pierre.Prakash@echofield.eu