HM The King hears how DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal funds are helping hundreds of thousands as monsoon rains begin again
His Majesty The King met with representatives from the charities of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) today to hear about the impact of UK donations to the Pakistan Floods Appeal which helped hundreds of people in the first six months of the response.
The meeting comes as the DEC releases a report detailing the impact of donations to the Pakistan Floods Appeal, have provided healthcare, clean water, shelter, food and more.
The country is facing the onset of another monsoon season which last year culminated in widespread flooding and devastation over the summer, killing at least 1,700 people and affecting a total of 33 million. More than 2 million houses were destroyed or badly damaged and 20 million people were estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. The DEC’s appeal has raised £47.3 million, including £5 million matched by the UK Government as part of the Aid Match scheme. His Majesty The King and Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II were among those who donated to the appeal.
During the meeting with His Majesty The King at Buckingham Palace earlier today [8 June], DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed spoke about how DEC charities and their local partners had provided life-saving aid in the months following the floods and spoke of his visit to the affected areas late last year.
Mr Saeed told The King: “Months after the disaster struck, people were still stuck on roadways surrounded by floodwater and this support from the UK public was absolutely vital for them. Not only had they lost their homes and possessions, but in an area where people depend on agriculture, they had lost their livelihoods and source of income as well.”
He also told The King about a woman he met on his visit, Naju, who had brought her baby, Krishnan*, to a DEC-funded mobile health clinic. With the land still flooded, the family had lost their income and didn’t have enough to eat, leading to Krishnan becoming malnourished. He was given sachets of nutritious peanut paste to help him recover – a simple but effective treatment that can be life-saving.
Minister of State for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell, who also attended the meeting, said: “The devastating Pakistan flood last year was clear evidence of the catastrophe that climate change can cause and how it impacts the most vulnerable. The UK worked immediately to provide humanitarian funding and the UK public responded generously to help those in need.
“Pakistan’s recovery, and building back to a stronger, more resilient position must be a priority. Long-term recovery has to have adaptation and climate resilience at the core to prevent a repeat of the scale of devastation. By supporting new farming techniques, flood-resistant house building and innovative new climate finance models, we are helping to prepare affected communities for future crises.”
The DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal Six Month Report includes full details of how donations have been spent in the first six months of the response. Hundreds of thousands of people have been reached with aid, including:
- 158,000 people who accessed basic health services such as treatment for illnesses, immunisations and maternity services
- 123,000 people who were provided with access to safe drinking water
- 66,400 people who were provided with temporary shelter such as tents, tarpaulins and shelter tool kits
- 50,400 people who received food assistance such as wheat, rice, sugar and cooking oil
- 25,100 families who were provided with hygiene kits containing items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste and water purification tablets
- 20,000 women or girls who received dignity kits containing sanitary pads, underwear, and soap
- 18,700 families who were provided with essential household items such as winter clothes, blankets and kitchen kits
- 16,200 families who were provided with cash assistance to allow them to meet their urgent needs
Donations continue to help people recover, with an increasing focus on rebuilding livelihoods and building resilience to future climate disasters through projects such as teaching new farming techniques, tree-planting, swimming lessons and flood-resistant house building. Many families still face a difficult situation as the monsoon rains begin again. A study by the World Weather Attribution group found that climate change likely increased the extreme rainfall that played a major role in the flooding.
*Name changed to protect identity
Notes to editors:
Donations can be made at dec.org.uk or by calling 0330 678 1000
Media enquiries or to arrange an interview please call 020 7387 0200 or 07930 999 014 (out of hours) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A collection including images of the meeting at the palace and recent images and footage of aid work is available here.
About the DEC: The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities at times of crisis overseas to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response. The DEC’s 15 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.
Eleven of the DEC’s 15 member charities are responding either directly or through trusted local partners and are receiving funds from this appeal. They are Action Against Hunger, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Concern Worldwide UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK and Tearfund.
The UK Government matched, pound for pound, the first £5 million of public donations to the DEC Pakistan Appeal through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s UK Aid Match scheme. This was part of a £16.5m package of support to provide immediate help to people living in the most hard-hit areas.
Through UK Aid Match the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office gives the British public the opportunity to have a say in how the UK aid budget is spent whilst boosting the impact of the very best British charities to change and save the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. UK government match funding will double British public’s own donations to the DEC appeal up to £5 million and will ensure that DEC member charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.
UK Aid Match has increased the impact of a number of DEC appeals to help those in need around the world, including most recently to support people affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the conflict in Ukraine and to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to people in desperate need in Afghanistan.
Through UK Aid Match, FCDO gives the British public the opportunity to decide how the UK aid budget is spent and support people in desperate need by matching their donations pound-for-pound.
Any queries about UK Aid Match should be directed to the FCDO news desk on 020 7008 3100 or email@example.com.
The DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal remains open with many families still facing extremely difficult circumstances. How to donate:
- Online: dec.org.uk
- Phone: 0330 678 1000. Standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply
- SMS: To donate £10 text SUPPORT to 70000. Texts cost £10 plus the standard network charge and the whole £10 goes to the DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.dec.org.uk.
- Or donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office or send a cheque by post to DEC Pakistan Floods Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA.