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.
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