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French aid to Pakistan/increased humanitarian support

Published on September 13, 2010
Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, September 9, 2010

For over a month, Pakistan has had to cope with a very serious humanitarian disaster. Unprecedented floods have left more than 1,750 dead and 2,700 missing. According to the United Nations, over 21 million people are affected by the tragedy and waiting for rescue and emergency relief. Since the floods began, France has been mobilized to come to Pakistan’s aid.

Given the continuing seriousness of the situation, we have decided to increase our humanitarian effort for Pakistan.

Three Ministry of Defence aircraft will transport 27 tonnes (150m³) of humanitarian supplies, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs crisis centre.

The first took off from the Istres air base on Wednesday, 8 September. A second plane left Vatry [air base] today and a third is scheduled to take off on Saturday, 11 September.

The humanitarian supplies include:

- medicines and medical equipment, provided mainly by “Secours populaire”, and basic equipment (blankets, tents) for delivery to the Pakistani authorities,

- tarpaulins (2.5 tonnes) for “UN-HABITAT”,

- three drinking-water treatment units (5.5 tonnes) given by “Aquassistance”, the “GDF-Suez” Group [employees’] voluntary organization.

The technicians who will provide training on how to use these machines will also fly to Pakistan./.

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