ISLAMABAD: The Canadian government is sending a ministerial-level delegation to Pakistan in the next few days for a first-hand review of the impact of floods which caused colossal damage to livelihood of millions in Sindh and Balochistan and to scale up the emergency response.

The delegation will include Minister for International Development Harjit Singh Sajjan and several members of parliament, said Pakistan High Comm­i­ssioner to Canada Zaheer Jan­jua while speaking at a fund-raising dinner. The arrival of the delegation was delayed due to Queen Elizabeth’s death.

Mr Janjua said the delegation would assess the needs of flood-affected people and submit a report to the government, which will announce further assistance.

The Canadian government has already announced $5 million for the relief work through the Canadian Red Cross (CRC).

Norwegian govt pledges $8m for flood survivors

The envoy said the CRC had raised $1.3m and was hoping to raise funds of up to $4m.

The high commissioner announced that PIA in Canada would accept relief items free of charge for onward transportation to Pakistan. PIA operates five flights a week to Toronto and arrangements have been made to transport one tonne of relief goods per flight to Pakistan.

The dinner was arranged in Montreal by Canada-Pakistan Affiliated Chamber of Trade, which announced that donations of $45,000 have so far been collected and more donations were forthcoming.

WFP’s recovery plan

The World Food Programme has announced that once the initial relief response is concluded, the WFP will immediately implement recovery programmes to improve community infrastructure, create livelihood opportunities and boost resilience, combined with cash-based transfers, through early 2023.

Already, WFP has reached more than 400,000 people with food assistance in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and continues to expand its operations in support of the government-led response across the country.

Meanwhile, Unicef, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid to children, has said that education is in a state of emergency in flood-hit areas, as large-scale destruction of school facilities has interrupted the education of more than 3.5 million children.

Norway’s assistance

The Norwegian government has announced 80m Norwegian kroner ($8m) for victims of flood disaster.

According to a press release issued by the Norwegian embassy in Islamabad, the country announced that it would provide further support.

“The situation is desperate for many millions of people, and our partners are working tirelessly to reach those who have been hardest hit,” said Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

“The flooding highlights the urgent need to adapt to climate change and safeguard food security, particularly in the countries most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters,” said Minister of International Develop­ment Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2022

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