ISLAMABAD    -   The European Union is allocating €300,000 (Rs 51.4 million) to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to families affected by the earthquake that struck Pakistan’s eastern region in September.

The funding will address the most pressing needs of around 3,000 vulnerable people in some of the hardest-hit areas.

“We are acting fast to channel emergency aid to those most affected in Pakistan,” said the Head of the EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Office in Islamabad, Bernard Jaspers-Faijer.

“Our funding will assist the most vulnerable and help provide shelter to those who have lost their homes and belongings in the aftermath of the strong tremor. Our thoughts are with all the victims and first responders working around the clock to save lives.”

The assistance will also ensure access to clean water for the communities in the affected areas. Special attention will be paid to those most in need, including people with limited sources of income. The EU funding is made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) through its Small Scale Response mechanism. Nearly 40 people were killed and more than 700 others injured when a strong, 5.3-magnitude, earthquake struck eastern parts of Pakistan in the afternoon of 24 September. The European Union and its Member States are the largest donors of humanitarian aid in the world. The assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need.