The rain has arrived which means that the summer recess is coming to an end, and the European Parliament resumes its business next week with the Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva
due to appear before the Parliament’s Development Committee
to update MEPs on the EU’s response to the devastating floods in Pakistan.
Ms Georgieva, who last week announced the EU is to mobilise an additional €30 million in urgent relief assistance bringing the total allocated by the Commission to €70 million
, paid a visit to the flood-hit regions in Pakistan on Monday is expected to remind MEPs of the widespread scale of devastation.
In an interview
with Bulgarian media outlet BNT
yesterday, Ms Georgieva described the scale of the disaster as "enormous" and said the entire country – from north to south, has been affected by the floods.
“I visited the northern part today, where the level of the water is gradually lowering, but it leaves thousands of people without houses, without shelter, without water, and without food,
” she said.
“I paid a visit to one of the settlements, which is completely demolished by the Indus River. People there have no opportunity to take care of themselves, and depend entirely on our help
She also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
who has a reputation for doing "the right thing, no matter what the cost personally
" and whom she says “has made a very serious commitment to direct the attention of the entire government towards dealing with the crisis, caused by the floods.
“The Pakistani government is in a very difficult situation, and they admit that they were not prepared for such a disaster,
” Ms Georgieva revealed.
“Even when the floods started, they were not aware of its scale. Now they realise very well what the situation is. They also understand completely that the aid that comes from Europe – € 220 million provided by our member states and the European Commission, is significant.
“They also know very well that it is vital to be able to show to our taxpayers that every Euro is spent for helping the Pakistani people and for saving lives, which is why a large part of our conversation was directed towards the mechanism for transparency and the reporting of the used funds.
According to a dispatch
from the Associated Press of Pakistan, the EU’s Aid Commissioner also told the Mr Gilani that the European Union would consider further increasing its contribution after the Damage Need Assessment
(DNA), expected in mid-October, is completed by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
To date, the combined total of aid pledged by the EU and its member states stands at €220 million
) which accounts for almost half of the total relief assistance pledged to Pakistan. The United Nations
has issued an international appeal target of $459 million,
of which officials say about 70% has been pledged.
Commissioner Georgieva will appear before the DEVE Committee MEPs in Brussels on Tuesday 31st from 1pm GMT
. The meeting will be webstreamed and can be watched via EP Live