US enhances Pakistan’s flood aid by $20 million

Power says disaster experts from USAID are assessing damage and identifying priority needs


Our Correspondent September 10, 2022
Tragedy is all around in Kambar-Shahdadkot, one of the most-affected districts of Sindh. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

The United States raised its humanitarian assistance to Pakistan by $20 million to support the millions of people affected by severe flooding in the country after heavy monsoon rains, as well as landslides and glacial lake outbursts.

Last week, the US had announced of $30 million in humanitarian assistance to help the people of Pakistan affected by the floods. With additional $20 million, the aid provided by the US reached $50.1 million.

“The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by severe flooding in Pakistan,” USAID administrator Samantha Power said.

“With these additional funds, USAID partners will continue to provide emergency relief supplies, multi-purpose cash and shelter assistance, support for livelihoods, logistics, and humanitarian response coordination systems,” she added.

The impact of these floods has been felt widely across Pakistan. An estimated 33 million people have been affected, nearly 1,400 have died, and more than 12,700 have been injured in the flood-related incidents since June.

Infrastructure in the flooding’s path has been decimated, with more than 1.7 million homes, an estimated 13.8 million acres of cropland, thousands of miles of road and hundreds of bridges damaged or destroyed.

“USAID has also deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) – comprising disaster experts from USAID, to lead the US government’s humanitarian response efforts in Pakistan … and it is assessing the damage and identifying priority needs,” Power said.

“This elite team … coordinating with the Government of Pakistan and humanitarian partners,” she said. “USAID will also prioritise water, sanitation, and hygiene [wash] assistance as a preventative measure to mitigate the anticipated spread of waterborne diseases,” she added.

“The United States is the single largest humanitarian donor to Pakistan. We stand with communities in Pakistan during this difficult time and will continue to help them in this time of need,” Power added.

Meeting with PM

Power is visiting Pakistan from 8-9 September to assess the scale of the flood related disaster. She also called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday and discussed the humanitarian relief assistance extended by her country.

The prime minister appreciated the visit by the USAID chief at a time, when Pakistan was battling the devastation caused by super floods. He said that her visit was an expression of US government’s solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

Shehbaz said that owing to the enormous intensity of the crisis, Pakistan was unable to meet the short-term or long-term challenges on its own. Emphasising on continued international support and assistance, he sought US support in mobilising the international community.

The prime minister said that the government intended to pursue reconstruction in a climate-resilient manner. To achieve this end, he added, Pakistan needed international expertise, technical assistance, funding and predictable climate financing.

He said that climate change was the common challenge for humanity, highlighted the need for collective effort in this regard. He thanked the US government for increasing in the funds for the flood victims.
(WITH INPUT FORM AGENCIES)

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