Islamabad: As the devastating floods continue wreaking havoc and affecting the supply chain of food for millions, Pakistan is seriously considering importing wheat from Russia.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appealed to the world to provide more help for Pakistan, saying there was a “yawning gap” between the scale of the disaster and the promised aid so far.
With over 33 million being affected by the floods so far, the country estimates it needs $1 billion in aid for immediate relief efforts alone.
“Pakistan urgently needs food, medicines, drinking water, tents and mosquito nets,” he said.
Regarding the import of wheat from Russia, the premier said that Pakistan could buy Russian wheat without breaching sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West over its invasion of Ukraine this year.
“We have an offer from them, and we are negotiating. We have to fill the stomachs of our people,” PM Shehbaz said.
US announces $30 million aid for Pakistan
The United States on Tuesday announced $30 million in humanitarian aid to Pakistan, where the worst-ever floods have killed more than 1,000 people and displaced some 33 million.
In a press briefing, Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department, said that the US was deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life and livelihoods throughout Pakistan.
“We stand with Pakistan during this difficult time, and the US is proud to be the single largest humanitarian donor to Pakistan,” the Spokesperson said.
He said that the US, through USAID, was providing an additional $30 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 outbursts, since mid-June.
He added that a USAID disaster management specialist arrived in Islamabad on Monday to assess the impact of the floods and coordinate with partners on response efforts. USAID staff in Islamabad, Bangkok, and Washington D.C. continue to monitor the situation in close coordination with local partners, the Government of Pakistan, and the US Embassy in Islamabad.