Cash compensation: US envoy pledges $190m flood aid

Money to go towards government's compensation scheme offering $1,000 for the 1.6 million families worst-hit by...


Afp January 07, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


US special envoy to Pakistan Frank Ruggiero announced on Thursday $190 million aid for flood survivors, fulfilling a pledge by his predecessor Richard Holbrooke who died last month.

Speaking to reporters alongside Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Ruggiero said the money would go towards the government’s cash compensation scheme offering $1,000 for the 1.6 million families worst-hit by floods.

“I’m pleased to be here today to fulfil a pledge made by my former boss and Pakistan’s great friend, Special Representative Richard Holbrooke,” said Ruggiero, on his first visit to Pakistan since taking up his new post.

“I know that Ambassador Holbrooke would have wanted to make this announcement personally as he was very committed to responding to the needs of the flood victims.

“It will be used in a very transparent way... and it will be transferred to the needy people,” he said.

Shaikh welcomed the funds and paid tribute to Holbrooke, who died on December 14 after suffering a torn aorta.

According to APP, Ruggiero will also sign an agreement on Friday to provide $66 million to Pakistan to complete the Gomal Zam and Satpara multi-purpose dam projects.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2011.

COMMENTS (4)

Swampfox | 10 years ago | Reply As an American, I don't disagree with helping the flood victims. I'm all for it. However, the corruption in the government of Pakistan is so legendary that I think my government should save everyone a whole lot of work and wire a good portion of that money directly to banks in Switzerland and Dubai. For the rest, they can just establish distribution points where the local politicians can come to pick theirs up in cash. With all of this handshaking and back-slapping going on in Islamabad, it's a wonder they can keep a straight face while the cameras are rolling. I just read an article which stated that citizens who were lined up to receive flood relief, physically standing on the queues, were openly admitting to reporters that they weren't entitled to that money. And the government stated that they would wind up having to go after those people to get the money back. Lotsa luck with that one! Is it really possible that the experts and the innovative thinkers of the United States can't find a way to make sure that poor people get the help they desperately need? Is there no way that the U.S. Army couldn't deploy the relatively small number of people needed to go out and see that this gets accomplished? Those poor people in flood areas were walking down the street, so to speak, and saw a sign that said,"Free Money-Queue Here." After a brief inquiry, they discovered that the donor would never come to check and see what they've done with it or even if they are entitled to it. They know that the politicians, big and small, have already seen the same sign and taken their much larger cut. Residents of flood areas must feel like they are pecking at crumbs that fell from the table. Who can blame them for emulating their great leaders? As always in these situations, the people who lose the most are the ones who most desperately need help. They're also the ones who have the least ability and fewest resources to help themselves. If the government of Pakistan can't see to it that those poor people get the assistance that has been sent to them, then the American government should send people to do it. The Americans already know the deal; they also have the brains, the manpower, and the hardware to get the job done. Their continuing habit of throwing good money after bad makes me wonder what's really going on here. And I'm not the only American who wants to know.
Robin Hood | 10 years ago | Reply dont need their money...take it back...thank you so much...
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