Islamabad, The European Union (EU) has contributed 15 million Euro (US$ 21.2 million approx.) to support the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) early recovery work in Pakistan following the floods that devastated large parts of the country. UNDP's Early Recovery Programme aims at restoring livelihoods through job creation, repairing basic community infrastructure and strengthening local government offices to get public services running again.
The European Union commitment comes in response to the appeal launched by the Pakistan Government and UNDP for a US$ 120 million early recovery programme. This seeks to help communities affected by the disaster to rebuild their lives.
An estimated 1,500 local government offices have been severely damaged by the floods. Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have lost essential legal records such as birth, death and marriage certificates, records of property and land titles, and educational certificates that are essential in reclaiming their property, accessing basic services and claiming compensation. In some areas more than half of those affected have lost important documents.
"Contributions such as that of the European Union are crucial to accelerating the pace of recovery in Pakistan", said Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Country Director. "It will allow us to strengthen and restore public services and local government functions in the worst affected areas.'
The programme will help restore access to services by repairing and equipping 190 critical local public administration offices, provide technical assistance and equipment to 120 government offices in 29 worst affected districts to facilitate recovery and re issuance of lost documents. One-stop-shops will be created at district, tehsil and union council levels to restore access of citizens to reissue their legal documents and citizen protection centres will be established at local courts and bar associations to provide legal aid to the most affected and vulnerable, including women and the elderly.
Small businesses and farmers associations will also be supported through legal aid. "We hope our support will help local governments in the worst affected communities to fully resume their public services", said Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Ambassador, Head of Delegation, EU. "We stand ready to help the people of Pakistan as much as we can to recover from this tragedy".