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ISLAMABAD: Renewing his country’s commitment to continue to assist Pakistan’s flood victims, Ambassador of France Nicolas Galey Tuesday said that climate change is a global challenge which needs collective response of the international community.

The French Ambassador to Pakistan, together with French Defence Attaché Col A Presson, was briefing mediapersons about the country’s relief assistance provided to the affected people of catastrophic floods in Pakistan.

Following the unprecedented floods that hit Pakistan, he added that French President Emmanuel Macron wished to mark the solidarity of France and the French people with the people of Pakistan and in consultation with the Pakistani authorities, France quickly dispatched emergency equipment and military experts from the French civil security service to the field to assist in relief operation and respond to urgent humanitarian needs.

On September 3, he added that a special chartered flight arrived in Karachi, carrying emergency equipment, including 83 high-capacity water pumps and more than 200 tents, as well as other non-food items. Besides, he stated that a military medical team consisting of four doctors and four nurses, as well as a military team of four technicians also arrived to operate the water pumps.

He said that the French medical team remained on the ground for two weeks in Badin district in Sindh, working alongside their Pakistani counterpart from the Badin military hospital to provide hundreds of medical consultations each day. As for the team of trainers, it was able to train more than 50 Pakistani technicians in the use of water pumps, he added.

From October 7 to November 5, he added that 40 French civil security experts were deployed in Dadu district in Sindh to operate water purification equipment brought directly from France. He added that the military team provided 600,000 litres of drinking water to the local communities, benefiting 1,000 people a day.

As an indication of support towards the reconstruction of flood-affected areas, the ambassador stated that France provided a 50-meter-long Bailey-type bridge that will soon be deployed by the Pakistani authorities in Sindh district.

“These operations were being carried out within the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM),” he added.

In a further expression of support to flood-affected communities, he added that France allocated one million EUR to three French international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) for relief operations for a total of 90,000 beneficiaries in three provinces.

He said that in the INGO included, Action Against Hunger (ACF) for an integrated project combining health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), agriculture, food security and livelihood for close to 30,000 beneficiaries in the districts of Qambar Shahdadkot and Khairpur in Sindh.

Secours Islamique France (SIF) for a multi-sectoral emergency assistance to 40,000 beneficiaries in the districts of Quetta, Qila Saifullah, Pishin and Lasbela, in Balochistan while Médecins du Monde (MDM)for the deployment of three mobile health teams, for 20,000 beneficiaries, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts of Nowshera, Charsadda and Chitral, he added.

The envoy stated that the French government has also allocated one million Euros to the World Food Programme (WFP) for an integrated Nutrition – Safety Net Programme for pregnant and lactating women in the districts of Qambar Shahdadkot and Khairpur in Sindh. This programme will provide emergency food assistance, life-saving nutrition preventive packages, and cash grants to 5,400 direct beneficiaries, and 32,400 household members, he added.

Furthermore, he added that a number of French companies also contributed to support flood-stricken communities, including Total, Bureau Veritas and others through direct donations or contributions to non-profit organisations to provide immediate support to rehabilitation activities.

Responding to a question about the method of assessment of losses and damages, the French ambassador said that they have different types of assessments, including by the government and international organisations.

Asked about the proposed donors’ conference, he said that after meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, French President Macron had floated the idea of an international donors’ conference to support Pakistan’s relief efforts and “not necessarily to host it.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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