ISLAMABAD: The United States on Friday announced an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by severe flooding in Pakistan, making the country the largest contributor so far with a total of $50.1 million pledged .
The announcement was made by USAID Administrator Samantha Power and US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome at a press conference.
In a tweet, the US Embassy here said, “The United States stands steadfast in its support of the people and communities suffering from the severe flooding in Pakistan. We are now committing a total of $53.1 million in USAID funds, including $50.1 million for emergency flood relief and $3 million to build disaster resilience.
The USAID Administrator, who is traveling to Pakistan following the devastating floods, announced that the United States, through USAID, is providing an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance to support the People affected by severe flooding in Pakistan resulting from heavy monsoon rains. , as well as landslides and glacial lake overflows, which have been ongoing since June.
She said the impact of these floods was widely felt across Pakistan, adding that around 33 million people were affected, nearly 1,400 died and more than 12,700 were injured.
She added that infrastructure in the path of the floods has been decimated, with more than 1.7 million homes, approximately 13.8 million acres of cropland, thousands of miles of roads and hundreds of bridges damaged or destroyed.
“This support builds on last week’s announcement of $30 million in humanitarian assistance to help the people of Pakistan affected by these devastating floods. Since August 12, the United States has provided more than $50.1 million in disaster relief to help the people of Pakistan,” she said.
With these additional funds, she added, USAID partners will continue to provide emergency relief supplies, multi-purpose cash and shelter assistance, support for livelihoods, logistics, and coordination systems. of the humanitarian response. She added that USAID will also prioritize water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance as a preventative measure to mitigate the predicted spread of waterborne diseases.
She also pointed out that USAID has also deployed a Disaster Response Team (DART) to lead the US government’s humanitarian response efforts in Pakistan. “This elite team, made up of USAID disaster experts, assesses the damage, identifies priority needs and coordinates with the Government of Pakistan and humanitarian partners,” she said, adding that the United States is the largest humanitarian donor to Pakistan.
“The United States is deeply saddened by the flood victims and the loss of loved ones, livelihoods and homes across Pakistan. We stand with communities in Pakistan during this difficult time and will continue to support them. help in this time of need,” she added.
She pointed out that according to initial estimates provided by the government of Pakistan, the floods caused more than $12 billion in losses to the country’s economy. What does it mean when a third of the country is flooded? she asked, adding that it was necessary for the international community to come forward to provide more aid to Pakistan, as the disaster is closely linked to climate change.
She said USAID is also partnering with community leaders and farmers to support the country’s agricultural sector which has been destroyed by the floods. She further stated that USAID would also help rebuild 100 schools in flood-affected areas.
Asked about the next phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation, she said USAID would assess how it could contribute more during the next phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
She also said that U.S. Central Command, in support of USAID, has begun airlifting vital humanitarian supplies to support people and communities affected by the ongoing severe flooding in Pakistan.
The supplies include nearly $2.2 million in essential lifesaving resources, including food preparation and shelter materials, which will be delivered over the next few days in about 20 different shipments across the country.
She said the United States remained deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the catastrophic flooding across Pakistan, adding that humanitarian donations were prioritizing food, nutrition, multipurpose cash, drinking water, improved sanitation and hygiene and shelter. assistance.
She said the support will save lives and reduce the suffering of the most vulnerable affected communities. “The United States will continue to monitor the crisis in close coordination with local partners and Pakistani authorities,” she added. She said American support for the Pakistani people is unwavering. Our emergency flood relief assistance and supplies build on decades of U.S. assistance to Pakistan, including programs designed to help prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural disasters. These programs have included training on early warning systems, capacity building of community leaders and Pakistani government disaster management authorities, and livelihood restoration to improve food, nutrition and economic security, including including $3 million in support this year before the floods. Additionally, schools rebuilt with US support after the 2010 floods now serve as shelters for communities affected by the devastation, she added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022