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EU allocates Rs51.4m for earthquake victims

TP 1 week ago
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Islamabad (TP) October 4, 2019:  The European Union has announced to allocate €300,000 (Rs 51.4 million) to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by the earthquake that struck Pakistan’s eastern region in late September. The funding will address the most pressing needs of around 3,000 vulnerable people in some of the hardest-hit areas, said a press release issued here on Friday.

“We are acting fast to channel emergency aid to those most affected in Pakistan,” said the Head of the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Office in Islamabad, Bernard Jaspers-Faijer.

“Our funding will assist the most vulnerable and help provide shelter to those who have lost their homes and belongings in the aftermath of the strong tremor. Our thoughts are with all the victims and first responders working around the clock to save lives.”

The assistance will also ensure access to clean water for the communities in the affected areas. Special attention will be paid to those most in need, including people with limited sources of income.

The EU funding is made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) through its Small Scale Response mechanism.

Nearly 40 people were killed and more than 700 others injured when a strong, 5.3-magnitude, earthquake struck eastern parts of Pakistan in the afternoon of 24 September. The earthquake, which was followed by a number of aftershocks, caused extensive damage to houses and infrastructure. According to government data, more than 8,600 houses, as well as a number of roads and bridges, sustained severe structural damage. Mirpur, the largest city in the Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is the most affected area with the epicentre located only one kilometre from the city. The tremor was also felt in several neighbouring provinces, including Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An estimated 100,000 people have been severely affected by the disaster.

The European Union and its Member States are the largest donors of humanitarian aid in the world. The assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need. The goal of the assistance is to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters caused by natural phenomena and man-made crises. The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), assists more than 120 million people affected by conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit the DG ECHO website.

ECHO’s Small Scale Response fund is a global mechanism which allows for rapid funding for up to € 300 000 for humanitarian aid in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.

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