ISLAMABAD    -   As part of the UK’s aid package, £2 million worth of relief items for the most vulnerable people affect­ed by the devastating floods ar­rived in Pakistan via the UAE on Wednesday.

The relief items include emer­gency shelters for up to 194,300 people, and blankets and mats for up to 10,000 people. 

The emergency shelters include coverage and fixing kits, poles and peg sets. The UK will also pro­vide water filters and hygiene sup­plies for 32,495 people to mitigate health risks. The first shipment of 19 containers arrived at the Kara­chi Port with another 26 sched­uled to follow in the coming days and weeks, said a British High Commission statement. 

To date, the UK has committed a total of £16.5m to support flood relief efforts and the British pub­lic have donated over £25m via the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Pakistan Appeal. 

This appeal has notably been supported by the England men’s cricket team, who are current­ly touring Pakistan for the T20s, with the team making a personal donation which was then matched by the England Cricket Board.

In addition to this, earlier this month a UK Royal Air Force flight delivered 8 boats and 10 portable generators gifted in kind by the UK’s Ministry of Defence for use in flood relief operations. Mean­while, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also offering free re­lief shipments in their cargo.

British Deputy High Commis­sioner, Sarah Mooney, said: “This UK aid shipment is the first of mul­tiple consignments addressing the immediate needs of the people of Pakistan affected by the devastat­ing floods. The UK will continue to provide assistance both in cash and in kind to ensure that commu­nities not only rebuild but are also resilient to future calamities.”

The initial UK aid of £1.55 mil­lion is being spent to provide crit­ical lifesaving assistance in Sindh (£900,000) and Balochistan (£650,000).

In Sindh, UK financed aid is reaching people of Shaheed Bena­zirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar, and Jacobabad. This aid aims to sup­port 7,600 households (approx­imately 63,200 persons; house­holds are counted as 6.7 people per household) with time-critical and lifesaving assistance through: access to flexible multi-purpose cash assistance, ensuring their in­creased access to primary health care and improved hygiene ser­vices. The assistance integrates particular focus on vulnerable population including children, women and girls, elderly people, and people with disabilities. 

According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency, the flooding in Pakistan has destroyed or damaged 2 million houses, with 546,000 people now living in re­lief camps. The disaster has also damaged 12,716 km of roads and damaged 22,000 schools. In to­tal 745 health centres have been damaged or destroyed.

The Disasters Emergency Com­mittee (DEC) launched the Paki­stan Floods Appeal and has raised over £25 million for relief efforts. The UK government has matched pound for pound the first £5 mil­lion of public donations, as part of the total £15 million additional pledge made last month. 

UAE is strategic hub for UK aid and holds approximately 80% of the UK’s global aid supplies. From the UAE, emergency relief items can be moved quickly to many disaster hotspots due to its prime location.