French ambassador, defence attaché highlight humanitarian assistance by France’s medics, engineers in flood areas

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Zubair Qureshi

Ambassador Nicolas Galey of France and Defence Attache Col Nicolas Presson on Tuesday briefed the Pakistani media about the humanitarian assistance operation by the French doctors, nurses, engineers and technicians and gave an overview of the French assistance to the flood-affected populations in Pakistan.

Ambassador Galey said following the unprecedented floods that hit Pakistan, French President Emmanuel Macron wished to mark the solidarity of France and the French people with the people of Pakistan. As early as September this year, France in consultation with the Pakistani authorities dispatched emergency equipment and military experts from the French civil security service to the field to assist in relief operations and respond to urgent humanitarian needs, he said.

The ambassador further said that on September 3, a special chartered flight arrived in Karachi, carrying emergency equipment (including 83 high-capacity water pumps and more than 200 tents, as well as other non-food items) and a military medical team consisting of 4 doctors and 4 nurses, as well as a military team of 4 technicians to operate the water pumps. The French medical team remained on the ground for two weeks in Badin district in Sindh, working alongside their Pakistani colleagues from the Badin military hospital, to provide hundreds of medical consultations each day, he added.

The team of French trainers trained more than 50 Pakistani technicians in the use of water pumps, he said adding that from October 7 to November 5, 40 French civil security experts were deployed in Dadu district in Sindh to operate water purification equipment brought directly from France.

While addressing on the occasion, Col Nicolas Presson said that the military team provided 600, 000 liters of drinking water to the local communities (1.000 beneficiaries/day). He said that as an indication of support towards the reconstruction of flood-affected areas, France provided 50-meter-long Bailey-type bridge that would soon be deployed by the Pakistani authorities in Sindh district, Col Nicolas said. These operations were being carried out within the framework of the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), he added. While replying to the media queries, French ambassador said in a further expression of support to flood-affected communities, France allocated 1 million EUR to three French International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) for relief operations for a total of 90.000 beneficiaries in 3 provinces: Action Against Hunger (ACF) for an integrated project combining health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), agriculture, food security and livelihood for close to 30.000 beneficiaries in the districts of Kambar Shadadkot and Khairpur in Sindh; Secours Islamique France (SIF) for a multi-sectoral emergency assistance to 40.000 beneficiaries in the districts of Quetta.

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