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Minister to meet Pakistan’s Ambassador to discuss humanitarian emergency

International relations, Irish Aid, Press Releases, Asia and Oceania, Ireland, 2010

Minister of State for Overseas Development, Mr Peter Power, T.D., will today meet the Ambassador of Pakistan to discuss the humanitarian emergency caused by the devastating floods.

Speaking ahead of this morning’s meeting, Minister Power said:

“This is the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history. I am meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs. Naghmana A. Hashmi to receive an update on the situation on the ground and to find out more about the progress of the response of the Government of Pakistan and its UN partners.

“I will also update the Ambassador on what Ireland and the EU are doing in response to the disaster. We will also discuss some of the important lessons which have been learnt from responding to other large natural disasters such as Haiti and how Pakistan can ensure that as much aid as possible reaches those who need it most.”

Minister Power also announced the shipment of 100 large multipurpose tents to Pakistan from Ireland’s humanitarian stockpiles.

The tents arrived in Pakistan today and will be used to provide emergency shelter to hundreds of affected families. The value of this shipment is €60,000 and is in addition to the €750,000 in funding which Ireland is already providing to alleviate the suffering of people affected by the crisis.

Minister Power made the announcement in response to the UN’s Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan, which identified shelter as one of the most urgent needs on the ground.

“It is clear that the humanitarian situation in Pakistan remains dire. The flooding has now worked its way through almost the entire country and with continuing rains it may be a considerable time before the full extent of the damage is known.

“Last week the United Nations launched its Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan which outlines how the international community will work with the Pakistani Government to respond to this crisis. The UN has identified shelter as one of the most urgent needs and in response to this, Ireland has shipped 100 tents to Pakistan where the International Organisation of Migration will use them to provide temporary accommodation for those who have been forced from their homes by flood waters,” Minister Power said.

Minister Power has put Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps on standby and they remain ready to deploy should their expertise be requested.

He stressed that Ireland will continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan closely and review our humanitarian response in line with the needs identified by the Pakistani Government, the UN and our partners on the ground.

Note for the Editor:

For further information or to request an interview with Minister Power, please contact Maggie Collins, Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs on 01-8546926.