ISLAMABAD: Humanitarian assistance and solidarity messages from different parts of the world continued to pour in, with Canada, France, Qatar, the UAE, Turkiye and Azerbaijan among the leading countries to pledge support in response to Pakistan’s call for help in the wake of devastation caused by flood.

Also, Pope Francis during his visit to the city of L’Aquila in central Italy on Sunday called on the international community to help Pakistan and said he was praying for the victims, AFP reported.

The Canadian government allocated $20,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for flood relief operations in Pakistan, Canada’s International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement on Saturday.

Canada is also a donor to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has allocated $3 million for flood response.

Canada allocates $20,000; Turkish Red Crescent, Qatar Charity begin operation; first flight from UAE carrying over 3,000 tonnes of relief goods arrives

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement the country was providing support through UNCERF to provide food, clean water and other essential services as quickly as possible. Mr Trudeau said he was thinking of “everyone affected by the devastating flooding in Pakistan”.

Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Ambassador Zaheer Janjua thanked the Canadian prime minister and its citizens for the live-saving efforts in Pakistan.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly described the images of floods in Pakistan as “absolutely heart-breaking” and said her country remained “deeply concerned about the situation and will continue to support the people of Pakistan”.

Pakistani-Canadian Member of Parliament Salma Zahid said in a statement the situation in Pakistan was dire. “I am reaching out to our ministers to urge them to send Canadian relief to help the people of Pakistan in this state of emergency,” she said.

Qatar Charity

Meanwhile, Qatar Charity, a humanitarian and development non-governmental organisation, has delivered urgent relief aid to flood-affected Afghan refugees and the underprivileged members of the host community in Balochistan, in collaboration with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). The aid benefited more than 9,000 Afghan refugees and individuals from the host community.

Assistance from Turkiye

On Sunday, the first Turkish plane with relief goods for flood victims landed at around 8pm on Sunday. Another plane from Turkiye also landed in Karachi some two hours later with 14 tonnes of relief goods.

Similarly, the Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS), in collaboration with the PRCS, is providing cash assistance of Rs16,000 and 300 hygiene kits, 600 jerry cans, and 1,500 mosquito nets to 300 families in Jafferabad.

Moreover, 100 tents and 1,000 blankets will be sent by air cargo along with humanitarian aid by the Ministry of Interior, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkiye.

French President

France Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Sunday offered condolences on the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan and also offered assistance during a telephone call with her counterpart Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, FM Bhutto-Zardari thanked Ms Colonna for “France’s expression of solidarity and offer of assistance to Pakistani people in this hour of need”. The FO said that the foreign minister briefed his French counterpart on the widespread destruction caused by unprecedented floods across the country.

He also informed that the floods have caused extensive loss of human lives, livelihoods, livestock, crops, and infrastructure and that the situation was likely to deteriorate further as heavy rains continued to batter areas already inundated by more than two months of rainfall.

The minister apprised the French foreign minister of the government’s humanitarian response, including establishing a relief fund. Mr Bhutto-Zardari shared that a “UN Flash Appeal” would be launched on August 30, 2022 and expressed the hope that the international community would contribute towards meeting the funding requirements of the appeal.

On his Twitter handle, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed solidarity with flood victims of Pakistan and said his country was ready to help Pakistan.

“Our thoughts go out to the Pakistani people facing terrible floods, to the families of the countless people missing and to the populations affected. France stands ready to provide help,” he posted.

UAE relief goods arrive

The first flight from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), carrying over 3,000 tonnes of relief goods arrived at the PAF Base Nur Khan on Sunday. At least 15 planeloads of relief goods from the UAE would land in the country in the coming days.

UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al-Zaabi handed over the relief goods to Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2022

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