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Pakistan: New aid from Italy

Date:

08/24/2010


Pakistan: New aid from Italy

One million euros to help combat the high risk of epidemics and provide access to water and food. Italian Development Cooperation’s new pledge was announced by Ambassador Attilio Massimo Iannucci, Minister Frattini’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be added to the aid already sent and the long-term aid already committed to support agricultural development and boost Pakistan’s economy.

New Italian aid for Pakistan, where the humanitarian crisis is worsening after the recent floods. The Foreign Ministry’s Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGDC) has provided aid worth 1 million euros in response to the United Nations “Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan” appeal. More specifically, 600,000 euros will be given to UNICEF and 400,000 to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat the high risk of epidemics. The aim is to support assistance efforts in the areas of health, hygiene, and access to water and food, with a special emphasis on the most vulnerable segments of the population, such as women and children.

This new Italian commitment was announced in New York by Ambassador Attilio Massimo Iannucci, Minister Franco Frattini’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The announcement was made during the Extraordinary General Assembly of the United Nations on 19 August 2010.

Italian Development Cooperation’s new commitment should be set alongside our country’s recent contribution, worth 1.33 million euros, in response to the emergency in Pakistan. This consisted of: an emergency humanitarian flight carrying supplies worth 200,000 euros (medicines, generators, water containers and purification units); two donations, totalling 400,000 euros, to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help provide assistance to about 25,000 families; and a contribution of 600,000 euros to the World Food Programme (WFP) for emergency food aid.

A bilateral initiative amounting to 1.5 million euros is currently being drawn up. This would focus on initiatives indicated by the Pakistani authorities and, at the implementation stage, would involve Italian NGOs currently in Pakistan. To these funds should be added a further 2 million euros allocated following the flood appeal launched by the United Nations.

Italy is also active in previously approved initiatives to develop the rural and agricultural sector and in so doing boost the country’s economy. The floods have destroyed much of Pakistan’s agricultural heart and devastated its cotton, grain, rice and sugar crops. Italy will be contributing 4million euros to the World Bank’s Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for the reconstruction and development of the north-west border areas. The Fund is currently being reviewed in light of the priorities arising from the floods, which have also wrought havoc in the areas concerned by the initiative.

In this context, the Debt Conversion Initiative, worth about 80 million euros, envisages major initiatives in the areas hit by the flooding. The procedures involved in launching the aid credit package, which involves the most badly hit Provinces, will be speeded up. The package envisages rural development and vocational training initiatives and important projects to support the infrastructure reconstruction process and to gradually repair the regions’ socio-economic fabric.

As part of the commitments undertaken at the Tokyo Donors Conference in 2009, Italy approved 2 aid credit initiatives totalling 60 million euros.

The efforts of the Pakistani Government and the international community are focused on the Provinces bordering Afghanistan, whose socio-economic fabric was destroyed by the anti-insurgency offensive of 2009 and which have now been badly hit by the devastating floods.

The Italian Embassy in Islamabad invites all those to wish to help the Pakistani people not to send goods or supplies. Donations should be sent in financial form, so that the money can be used where it is most needed. Anyone who would like more information, or who would like to volunteer, should contact the Italian Embassy using the special email address set up for this purpose: Alluvione.Pakistan@gmail.com.


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