International

U.S. announces $ 25 million for Pakistan flood relief work

Flood survivors wait for their turn to get food at a relief camp in Charsadda, near Peshawar, in Pakistan. File photo

Flood survivors wait for their turn to get food at a relief camp in Charsadda, near Peshawar, in Pakistan. File photo   | Photo Credit: Mohammad Sajjad

The U.S. has announced $ 25 million aid for the flood relief work in Pakistan, taking the total humanitarian fund to the inundation ravaged nation to $ 35 million.

“The need for response to this disaster is urgent, and even as we triple our financial commitment we remain flexible so we can meet new needs as they arise,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

“We remain committed to working in support of the Government of Pakistan to identify gaps in assistance where USAID can be of assistance,” he said.

The assistance includes a $ 15 million contribution to the U.N. World Food Programme - primarily for the local and regional purchase of food aid and the dispatch of food from USAID’s prepositioning site - and $ 10 million to expand existing emergency and aid programmes that address needs identified by the Government of Pakistan.

At a special news conference held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Dan Feldman, the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the U.S. is also actively working to mobilise other nations to join in this effort.

“We have already started receiving a number of significant contributions from the European Commission, from the U.K., from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Japan, many others, which we’re just at the beginning of the process in coordinating,” Mr. Feldman told reporters.

The State Department is also engaging local Pakistani community in this regard including the private sector, the Pakistani-American business community and other Pakistani-American organisations throughout the U.S.

“As one example, the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America, APPNA, has received $5 million in pledges,” he added.

The Coca-Cola corporation for Pakistan and Afghanistan has announced a $ 500,000 donation.

“We’re going to be there for a long time. You will see our response to this crisis is a robust one. At some point, the relief phase will end, and we will get into a longer-term reconstruction effort,” said Mark Ward, Acting Director, Office of Foreign Direct Assistance, USAID.

So far, six U.S. Army helicopters have begun humanitarian assistance operations.

The four CH-47 Chinook helicopters and two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are operating in partnership with the Pakistan Government throughout the flood-impacted areas to deliver much-needed relief supplies and provide transport to people who urgently need emergency assistance.

An estimated 1,500 people have been killed in the floods over the past week.

Yesterday they evacuated more than 800 people from Kalam to Khwazakhela and transported 66,000 pounds of relief supplies. U.S. helicopters assigned to the Pakistani Ministry of Interior’s 50th Squadron are continuing their operations and have rescued 983 people and airlifted 30,973 pounds of supplies.

More than 436,000 halal meals from U.S. stocks in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region have been delivered to civilian and military officials in Pakistan, a contribution of $ 3.25 million dollars.

Twelve pre-fabricated steel bridges have been made available as temporary replacements for highway bridges damaged by flooding in Peshawar and Kurram Agency.

Four Zodiac inflatable rescue boats with power motors and two water filtration units-which provide pumping, purification, and distribution of potable water for up to 10,000 persons daily-are being provided for use in the affected area.

A second consignment containing four additional water treatment units, 14 Zodiac boats with motors, 10 water storage bladders with distribution systems for drinking water and 30 concrete-cutting saws has been shipped to Peshawar for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

A 25kw generator was provided to the Frontier Scouts-KPk to support their flood relief efforts

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:44:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/U.S.-announces-25-million-for-Pakistan-flood-relief-work/article16123428.ece

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