A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
European Commission shines out on Pakistan’s crisis response, says Oxfam
The European Commission announced today a significant boost of €80 million for immediate humanitarian needs in flood-hit Pakistan. This doubles the contribution of the EU’s executive arm to €150 million and places it as the most generous donor after Saudi Arabia, the US and the UK.
The floods that have surged through Pakistan over the past two months have devastated an area larger than England, affecting over 20 million people.
Elise Ford, Head of Oxfam’s EU office, said:
“With this weighty injection of cash, the European Commission shines out on the international response to flood-ravaged Pakistan. The scale of emergency is still enormous. Other European donors, especially those that so far have lagged behind such as France and Italy, must urgently reach deep in their pockets to avoid a spiralling of disease and hunger.”
“Pakistan ranks second in the EC’s list of top recipients of humanitarian aid this year, after Haiti. This is fully justified as the resulting destruction has been referred to by the UN as the biggest and most complex crisis it has ever responded to. As the flood waters recede, millions of Pakistanis throughout the country are returning to their villages to find that they have lost everything they once owned.”
“The Commission is seen by the humanitarian community in Pakistan as a leading donor, providing generous funds and ensuring humanitarian principles are respected. In such a sensitive context, the EC is setting a great example for other donors by taking a strong stance against the use of military assets, like bringing aid in on NATO flights, which is something that has been encouraged by some European donors. The use of military assets blurs the lines between humanitarian, political and military objectives, particularly in the context of NATO's involvement in the conflict just across the border in Afghanistan, and can put the lives of staff and beneficiaries at risk.”
“The next opportunity for concerted international action will come at the Friends of Pakistan meeting taking place in Brussels on 14-15 October. Then more governments must stump up the cash for immediate relief and recovery, commit to debt cancellation and the European Commission must be ready to present ambitious trade opening measures.”
Notes to editors
In Brussels: Angela Corbalan on + 32 473 56 22 60 or firstname.lastname@example.org, @AngelaCorbalan
In Islamabad: Luned Jones on + 92 30 85 55 17 82 or email@example.com