BRUSSELS - The Ambassador of Pakistan to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union, Dr Asad Majeed Khan participated in European parliament’s Development Committee (DEVE) debate on ‘humanitarian situation in Pakistan following the monsoon floods,’ as a special guest. The debate was chaired by Vice Chair DEVE Committee, MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Ambassador Asad Majeed briefed the DEVE Committee on the flood situation in Pakistan. He underscored that the climate-induced catastrophe has caused an economic loss of over $30 billion and pushed the country’s development agenda back by years. He highlighted the mammoth scale and size of the calamity and said that the flood disaster was turning into food, health and livelihood crises.
Expressing gratitude for the support from the EU and its member states as well as the proposal by President of France to hold an international donor conference, he highlighted that Pakistan needed additional support for not only relief and rescue but also for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood affected areas. He said that despite producing less than one percent of the global carbon emissions, Pakistan was one of the most vulnerable countries to the affects of climate change and faced extreme weather conditions, including soaring high temperatures, forest fires and accelerating glacial melt. He called for solidarity and support for the people of Pakistan through additional assistance, debt relief and preferential market access.
Representing European Commission’s Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Deputy Head of Unit Ms Valentina Auricchio said that the EU was one of the first responders and had activated the European Civil Protection Mechanism for providing humanitarian assistance to Pakistan. She underlined that there were fears of the outbreak of waterborne and respiratory infections in the flood-affected areas such as malaria and dengue. She also highlighted that 3.5 million children’s education had been affected by the floods. She assured that EU would continue to work with Pakistan to address the humanitarian situation and make additional assistance available to the flood affected areas. The Vice Chair of DEVE, MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, in her remarks highlighted the destruction caused by floods in Pakistan and expressed condolences with the people of Pakistan.
A number of MEPs from the DEVE Committee belonging to different political groups also participated in the debate. Expressing solidarity with the people of Pakistan, the MEPs, in their interventions, called for additional humanitarian and disaster mitigation support to the flood affected areas as well as debt moratorium for Pakistan.
DEVE Committee is an influential committee in the European Parliament with 50 members (26 full and 24 substitute members). It is responsible for promoting, implementing and monitoring the development and cooperation policy of the EU, including assistance to developing countries.