Oxfam reaction to EU far-reaching trade boost to flood-ravaged Pakistan

Published: 16th September 2010

EU heads of state agreed today to temporarily reduce tariffs on a number of key Pakistani products as soon as possible, and find a way to bring Pakistan into the EU's special trade benefits regime, known as GSP+, from 2014.

Elise Ford, Head of Oxfam's EU office, said:

"EU leaders today stood out from the crowd and showed the political resolve that is needed when major humanitarian emergencies occur, like the one currently affecting over 20 million people in Pakistan. We strongly welcome the EU's far-reaching trade boost to help Pakistan come to terms with this colossal disaster in the short and long term."

"An immediate reduction of tariffs on key imports to fill the gap until Pakistan can be made eligible for special trade measures under GSP+ is what the country desperately needs to get back on its feet. Prior to the floods, poverty was already widespread and food insecurity was alarming. Now the situation is dramatic as hunger and disease continue to grow."

The devastating floods have hit virtually all sectors of the economy. The agricultural sector, which represents 25% of the economy and provides employment to 50% of the workforce, is particularly affected. The Pakistan government has estimated the total economic damage to be around $15 billion, or about 10% of the country's GDP. Damage to infrastructure alone (roads, power plants, telecommunications, dams and irrigation systems, and schools and health clinics) amounts to around $10m.



Contact information

Angela Corbalan on + 32 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org