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Aid on the Ground: Austria Helps the Flooding Victims in Pakistan

AUSTRIA, September 6 - Two million euros in emergency relief from the Foreign Ministry’s Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad

After massive flooding due to the heavy monsoon rains that have lasted for many weeks, the Austrian government is providing aid on the ground with payments from the Foreign Ministry’s Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad.

In direct response to the acute emergency situation of the Pakistani population, the federal government approved the disbursement of two million euros for Pakistan from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad (AKF) during the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, 7 September 2022. One million euros will be provided to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and another million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help ease the humanitarian crisis.

Because of the heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan and their devastating impact on the local population, the federal government is supporting the humanitarian efforts on site by providing two million euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad. This additional support is in line with our humanitarian tradition of providing aid on the ground. The provided funds will go to the international aid organisations that are currently working to ease the suffering of those who are affected,

 said Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

The massive flooding has already caused more than 1,100 deaths in a very short amount of time. According to information from the Pakistani government, 33 million people, primarily women and children, have been affected by the monsoon rainfall and have lost their homes. At least 5.2 million people are experiencing an acute humanitarian emergency, and that number is rapidly growing.

The flood in Pakistan is another extreme weather event that demonstrates the rapidly accelerating effects of the climate crisis. It is our responsibility to help the people who are affected, and to ease the effects of this disaster. That is why we approved the disbursement of two million euros from the Relief Fund for Disasters Abroad today, to provide humanitarian emergency aid without red tape. However, it is also our duty to intensify our climate-protection efforts as quickly and immediately as possible,

said Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler.

Because of the serious damage to Pakistan’s infrastructure, which was already fragile before the flooding disaster – particularly in the area of healthcare – a national state of emergency was announced. In addition, the Pakistani government has asked for international aid to help manage the disastrous effects of the flooding.

Climate change is showing its ugly face in Pakistan right now. Especially in the regions that have long been cut off from the outside world, humanitarian aid is urgently needed in order to support the already overburdened healthcare infrastructure. Our targeted aid will help the international community on the ground with their humanitarian efforts,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The allocated funds will flow into the “2022 Pakistan Floods Response Plan (FRP)” created jointly by the United Nations and the Pakistani government in late August, which includes life-saving measures in the areas of food security, emergency agricultural aid, accommodation, medical first aid, protection for vulnerable population groups, water and hygiene, women’s health, and educational support.