Aid talks today as Irish tents arrive in Pakistan
THE devastating floods in Pakistan will be discussed today as a shipment of tents from Ireland arrives to provide emergency shelter to hundreds of families.
Junior Minister Peter Power and the ambassador of Pakistan will hold talks on the humanitarian emergency and Ireland's response.
Mr Power said the flooding was the worst natural disaster in Pakistan's history.
"It is clear that the humanitarian situation in Pakistan remains dire," said the Minister of State for Overseas Development. "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."
An estimated 1,500 people have perished in the disaster, with millions left homeless. Aid workers warn that waterborne diseases and other illnesses could now take hold and raise the death toll.
Mr Power said he was meeting Her Excellency Naghmana A Hashmi to hear about the progress of the response of the Pakistani government and its UN partners.
"I will also update the ambassador on what Ireland and the EU are doing in response to the disaster," he said.
"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."
Ireland has donated €750,000 in support and its Rapid Response Corps remains on standby for deployment. Mr Power also pledged a €60,000 shipment of 100 large multipurpose tents from Ireland's humanitarian stockpiles in response to calls for shelter.
"The tents arrived in Pakistan today and will be used to provide emergency shelter to hundreds of families," he added.