Belgian Minister visits Thatta, brings along UNICEF aid

Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation Charles Michel visited relief camps in Thatta to personally witness the devastation caused by the monsoon floods, a statement said on Wednesday.

Earlier on Monday a Belgian government chartered aircraft carrying emergency relief items dispatched by the United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) arrived in Karachi.

The Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation during visitr to the relief camps witnessed the relief efforts launched by Pakistan Government in conjunction with the international community, including the emergency assistance rendered by UNICEF for the children and women affected by the floods.  “The Belgian Government has provided free air freight to support UNICEF’s humanitarian operations in Pakistan. UNICEF is already responding to the evolving needs of millions of children and women in Sindh, one of the country’s most severely affected areas,” said Charles Michel.

While acknowledging the support, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan Martin Mogwanja said UNICEF greatly appreciates the logistical assistance which the Belgian Government had provided and which would enable them to bolster their humanitarian interventions in Pakistan.

“The air cargo contains water and vaccination supplies that are critical for the lives of children and women,” he added.

He stated that as part of the UN team, UNICEF was committed to providing life saving support to children and women, specifically focusing on water, sanitation, health, nutrition, education and protection from abuse and exploitation.

Chief of UNICEFs’ Field Operations in Pakistan Deepak Bajracharya also appreciated the Belgian help and said “By offering free transportation of the goods, Belgium reinforces UNICEF’s emergency response activities in a cost effective and flexible manner.”