The European Union has increased humanitarian aid by 3 million euro for Afghanistan and Pakistan to help people who were affected by recent floods and military operations. This additional increase in funding for the two countries brings this year’s budget for humanitarian aid to 76.5 million euros. The EU has also additionally decided to increase funding by 5 million euros to help the Pakistanis displaced by the military operation against non-state actors in North Waziristan. Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid, said that it was vital to protect the most vulnerable ones – women, children, and the elderly – by providing them with shelter, assistance, and protection that they need urgently. “Conflict and food insecurity keep millions of people in humanitarian need in Pakistan, while in Afghanistan severe flooding and a spill-over of the conflict in neighboring Pakistan are adding to the already existing burden of repeated conflict, insecurity, and under-development”.
In Pakistan, fighting and military operations in June have triggered a wave of displacement from North Waziristan to neigboring districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and to Afghanistan. Support is also given to those families that are seeking refuge in recently flooded Afghanistan. The additional money will be used to provide shelter, medicine, food, and potable water to Afghanis affected by the floods. The country was affected by serious floods and landslides in May this year. This newly increased amount in funding provided by the European Commission will be delivered via humanitarian partners such as UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and non-profit organizations. The ongoing wave of displacement in Pakistan comes in addition to approximately one million Pakistanis who are internally displaced due to conflict over several years, mostly in the Peshawar Valley. Estimates suggest that about a half of the displaced people live below the national level of poverty. In Afghanistan, floods and landslides mainly in the northern parts of the country have seriously affected about 150,000 people. The disaster has claimed many homes, harvests, and livelihoods. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan count among the countries most prone to natural disasters in the world while both have also experienced decades of conflict.