Minister Lehihan Announces Extra Funding on Anniversary of Pakistan Earthquake
On the anniversary of the Pakistan earthquake, Conor Lenihan, T.D., Minister for Development Co-operation and Human Rights, today announced further funding of €1 million in support of the on-going recovery effort. This brings to €9 million the funding provided by the Government for the relief and recovery effort since the disaster occurred one year ago.
In making the announcement Minister of State Lenihan said:
“When I visited Pakistan last year after the earthquake I stressed Ireland's commitment to help those who suffered in their journey from relief to recovery. While progress has been great there are still major challenges ahead – building permanent houses for all of those who lost their homes, re-establishing secure livelihoods for those who lost jobs and protecting vulnerable groups, such as widows, children, the elderly and the disabled. Today's funding is a mark of Ireland's commitment to support the ongoing recovery effort.”
The funding will be allocated to key Irish Aid partner agencies, which are supporting the Government of Pakistan in the recovery and rehabilitation of the Kashmir and North Western Frontier Provinces. Irish Aid will be providing support to the World Food Programme for school feeding, to encourage school attendance. Further support will be provided to UNICEF to assist in its work to protect vulnerable groups such as female-headed households, children, the disabled and the elderly. Funding will be provided to the International Federation of the Red Cross, which is working with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society to improve local disaster response capacity. The work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in strengthening local disaster risk prevention mechanisms will also be supported.
Note for Editors:
The Pakistan earthquake of 8th October 2005 caused some 73,000 casualties, in excess of 80,000 injuries and left 3.5 million homeless. The Government, through Irish Aid, has provided €8 million for relief and recovery activities in the aftermath of the disaster to UN Agencies, the Red Cross family and key Irish Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Today's announcement brings Irish Government support for relief and recovery programmes in support of those affected by the earthquake to €9 million. The overall response to the October 2005 earthquake has moved into the recovery phase but some relief activities, such as food support in the difficult winter months will be maintained.