Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Europe hesitates to give Pakistan special trade favours

UN food agencies chart joint response for flood-hit Pakistan
Rome (AFP) Sept 15, 2010 - Three UN agencies said Wednesday they were joining forces to address Pakistan's food security emergency following floods that ravaged 10 percent of the country's crops, a statement said Wednesday. The agencies "are working swiftly to mobilise resources, logistics and capacity on the ground to address immediate and longer-term food needs", they said. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme (WFP) are all based in Rome. Pakistan's worst-ever floods have left 10 million people without shelter nationwide and vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition.

Some 21 million people have been affected by the floods, which began more than six weeks ago, leaving more than eight million reliant on aid handouts for survival. The WFP delivered food rations to three million flood victims in August and hopes to reach twice as many in September, notably in Punjab and Sindh provinces. "With 80 percent of the flood-affected population dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, loss of stored seeds, grains and animals has rendered farming families extremely vulnerable," Wednesday's statement said. The FAO is distributing seed, fertiliser, animal feed and veterinary supplies, and could double the number of families reached with increased donations, it added.

IMF approves 451-million-dollar loan for flood-hit Pakistan
Washington (AFP) Sept 15, 2010 - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday announced it would give Pakistan a 451-million-dollar loan to help the country recover from devastating floods. "The board's approval enables the immediate disbursement of the full amount of this emergency assistance," the Washington-based body said in a statement. Monsoon floods, which began six weeks ago, have left 10 million people without shelter across the country, according to UN figures, with 21 million people affected and eight million surviving on aid handouts.

The IMF said they hoped the cash would "help the country manage the immediate aftermath of the massive and devastating floods that have hit the country" and spur more lending by international donors. The loan is designed to help Pakistan fill the budget hole left by flooding. "Pakistan's economic outlook has deteriorated sharply as a result of the floods. The agriculture sector, which accounts for 21 percent of Gross Domestic Product and 45 percent of employment, has been hit particularly hard" the IMF said.
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Sept 15, 2010
EU governments hesitated Wednesday to back a clarion call by British Prime Minister David Cameron for trade-linked aid to help Pakistan battle flood devastation and fears of rising Islamist extremism.

National leaders will decide at a European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday whether to offer "ambitious trade measures essential for economic recovery and growth," according to newly-adapted conclusions obtained by AFP.

The floods have turned some 21 million lives upside down and left 1,760 dead.

In a letter to European Union partners, Cameron calls for a "concrete political commitment from the EU to Pakistan to enhance significantly its access to the EU market."

However, a welter of obstacles -- not least the likelihood of a challenge at the World Trade Organization -- means the bloc was playing it coy amid internal disagreement.

Heads of government and state from the 27 EU members, which represent the world's biggest border-free trading bloc and home to half a billion consumers, will above all be asked to agree "in principle" to grant "significantly increased market access... through the immediate reduction of duties on key imports."

Nevertheless, illustrating the depth of feeling among opponents, a watered-down version calls only on the European Commission, the EU's day-to-day executive, to "come forward with proposals including increased market access."

Cameron's push for special status at the WTO looks strewn with obstacles, as he admitted in the letter, but he will pursue what opponents call a liberal free-trade agenda with a drive for "an ambitious new partnership between the EU and Pakistan on serious economic reform and trade."

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said last week that the move was designed to prevent Pakistan from degenerating into "extremism and fundamentalism."

The commission, which polices EU trade matters, suggested that ministers consider ditching tariff barriers on 13 types of textile product, in an effort to kick-start an economic fightback.

But the idea of preferential treatment caused consternation within the industry.

The European association of textile producers (Euratex) argued that Islamabad was "using all sorts of excuses to demand free access to the EU market."

It added that Pakistan is "already a major world player" on a par with India or China, and warned that unilateral EU moves "will certainly be attacked" in the WTO and could "seriously jeopardise" negotiations on a free-trade deal with New Delhi.

earlier related report
US aid to Pakistan may delay non-military projects: envoy
Karachi (AFP) Sept 16, 2010 - US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said Wednesday the use of a non-military aid package to fund flood relief instead in Pakistan may delay important water and energy projects in the country.

Holbrooke, the special US envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, told reporters in the southern port city of Karachi that 50 million dollars had already been diverted to flood relief from the Kerry-Lugar Bill.

The US Congress has advised the US government that it should use the 7.5-billion-dollar Kerry-Lugar bill, which finances non-military aid projects, to fund relief work to ease the devastation of Pakistan's recent floods.

"We may switch more money (from the Kerry-Lugar fund), which means some of the projects of the bill may have to be delayed because of emergency," Holbrooke said.

The Kerry-Lugar bill, named after two of the US Senators who sponsored it, became officially known as the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act after it was signed into law by US President Barack Obama a year ago.

Holbrooke spoke to reporters after visiting southern Thatta district, where he saw some of Pakistan's communities worst-affected by the floods.

"Thousands of thousands of people... are in desperate need of water, food and sanitation. The United States has given you more assistance faster than any other country, but it is not going to be enough," Holbrooke said.

The monsoon floods which began six weeks ago have left 10 million people without shelter nationwide, according to UN figures, with 21 million people affected and eight million surviving on aid handouts.

Holbrooke said that the US people had donated generously towards helping the Pakistani people to deal with the flooding, which he described as "an epic catastrophe in human terms."

"The United States is helping Pakistan in this moment of greatest need not because of the war on terror, not because of what is happening in Afghanistan, but because your country needs help.

"We would be doing these things for Pakistan anyway," Holbrooke said.

He said he would be returning to the United States to raise more funds "with renewed determination," but feared that this would be insufficient.

"The international community is not going to be able to give all the money you need. It is just too large. Your country has to figure out how to raise enough revenues to pay for these projects," Holbrooke said.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

DMCii-Led Project Exploits Satellites To Strengthen UK Disaster Response
London, UK (SPX) Sep 14, 2010
Space is set to become an important resource for UK disaster response efforts. DMCii is leading a new European Space Agency (ESA) project to design and build a system for the UK civil resilience community - those tasked with responding to and recovering from disasters - putting space-based systems at their disposal. The system will be used for all types of emergencies listed in the UK's Na ... read more

DMCii-Led Project Exploits Satellites To Strengthen UK Disaster Response

Tiny MAVs May Someday Explore And Detect Environmental Hazards

Europe hesitates to give Pakistan special trade favours

New Zealand extends emergency in quake-hit Christchurch

CEA-Leti Completes Scalar Magnetometer Prototype For ESA

One-fourth of US adults use mobile applications: survey

Google to launch e-book service in Japan in 2011

Does A Molecular Machine Trot Pace Or Glide Across A Surface

Global Fisheries Research Finds Promise And Peril

Human Impacts On The Deep Seafloor

Drought shrinks Amazon River to lowest level in 47 years

BPA Looks Beyond Federal Hydro System To Help Integrate Wind Power

Arctic sea ice shrinks to third lowest area on record

Glaciers Help High-Latitude Mountains Grow Taller

Arctic ice melting quickly, report says

Giant ice island breaks in two

Indian Farmers Adopt Flood-Tolerant Rice At Unprecedented Rates

Global Project Underway To Preserve Yam Biodiversity

China says will pay close attention to BHP bid for Potash

Unusual Feed Supplement Could Ease Greenhouse Gassy Cows

Purdue Students Face Storm To Study Hurricane Development

Rare duo of powerful hurricanes roils Atlantic

Igor stirs up Caribbean, takes aim at Bermuda

Flood-hit Mexicans prepare for wet bicentenary

Termites Foretell Climate Change In Africa's Savannas

Nigeria leader replaces military, security heads: presidency

Congo dispute could hurt Africa investment

Safari Slovaks held in plot claim freed: C.Africa

Scientists Glimpse Dance Of Skeletons Inside Neurons

European Parliament blasts Roma expulsions

New Climate Change Mitigation Schemes Could Benefit Elites More Than Poor

Internet an equalizer for people with disabilities

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement