Minister for Foreign Affairs [and Minister for Defence], Simon Coveney, T.D., today announced an initial commitment of €500,000 of Irish Aid support to the people of Pakistan who are experiencing a humanitarian crisis following recent devastating flooding. Millions of children, women, and men have been affected since mid-June, and over a thousand lives have been lost.
The €500,000 allocation is in direct response to the emergency appeal for funding from Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the Government of Pakistan. The assistance will support immediate and urgent humanitarian needs on the ground. The funds will be allocated to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Concern Worldwide. Both are long standing partners of Irish Aid who are already working on the ground to save lives.
The IFRC though their local partner will provide emergency shelter, unconditional cash grants to the worst affected and primary healthcare with a specific focus on the special health needs of women and children. Concern Worldwide are responding in the provinces of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab providing relief packages to people trying to survive this crisis.
In the past week the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$ 3 million to UN agencies and partners in Pakistan to respond to the floods. This will be used for health, nutrition, food security, and water and sanitation services in flood-affected areas, focusing on the most vulnerable. This US$3 million allocation from CERF will bring the UN’s humanitarian assistance for the flood response up to US$ 7 million. Ireland contributed EUR 11.5 million to the CERF globally in 2022. So far the EU is providing EUR 2.15 million in humanitarian aid.
Minister Coveney has offered his deepest condolences to the people of Pakistan following the widespread flooding which has killed more than 1,000 people, destroyed over 300,000 homes and left millions displaced.
Announcing the funding, Minister Coveney said:
‘‘I am saddened by the recent loss of life in Pakistan and deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation. Millions of people have been affected across all four provinces of the country by unusually heavy rain fall and this crisis may not yet have peaked. In response, I have made an initial allocation of €500,000 available to address the urgent and immediate humanitarian needs of those affected.”
As the number of people affected by the ongoing floods in Pakistan grows, Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., has expressed his concern for victims and sympathised with those who have lost family and friends in the disaster.
“Climate change is affecting countries all over the world, but it does not do so equally. The people of Pakistan have faced a deadly combination of extreme weather events this year including heatwaves, forest fires, flash floods and monsoons. The recent flooding has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and impacted the lives of millions. Our thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones in the flooding as well as to those working to respond to the devastation.”
Minister Brophy added:
“The unfolding crisis in Pakistan will place extraordinary pressure on humanitarian actors in the country. Funding from Ireland will support them to provide assistance to the most vulnerable. Through our support for the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund Ireland is already responding to the needs of affected people.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to monitor the situation closely and is in close contact with United Nations and aid agency representatives to determine the most effective way to assist in the response.
Notes for Editors
- Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, is an integral part of the Department of Foreign Affairs
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. Their secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 192 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
- Concern Worldwide are an international humanitarian organisation delivering life-saving and life-changing interventions to the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. They are fully operational in Pakistan for the past 21 years.
- Ireland committed €11.5m to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2022. The CERF which was established with the assistance of Ireland provides rapid funding to emergencies and disasters such as the devastating floods in Pakistan. Ireland is the 8th largest contributor to this fund since its inception in 2006. In terms of donors we ranked 11th in 2021 and are currently ranked 9th in 2022. Ireland entered into a new multi-annual partnership for our CERF funding for 2022-2024. This increases our commitment from €10 million per annum to €11.5 million per annum.
- Irish Aid also pre-positions emergency funding with NGO partners in order to allow for quick disbursal in emergency situations. In addition, Irish Aid has pre-positioned emergency supplies such as tents, blankets and water and sanitation equipment in depots around the globe which can be called upon in an emergency.