USAID provides additional $20m in humanitarian assistance: Samantha

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US helicopters begin airlifting humanitarian supplies to flooded areas

Zubair Qureshi

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 resulting from heavy monsoon rains, as well as landslides and glacial lake outbursts that have been ongoing since June.

This was shared by Administrator of the USAID, Samantha Power while briefing the Pakistani media at Serena Hotel on Friday. Ambassador of the United States, Donald Blome also spoke on the occasion and expressed his country’s unwavering support for Pakistan’s flood affectees.

Samantha Power said the impact of the floods had been felt widely across Pakistan and an estimated 33 million people have been affected while nearly 1,400 lives were lost.

More than 12,700 people have been injured, she said adding in this critical situation, the 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.

This support builds on an announcement last week 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 over $50.1 million in disaster assistance to help the people of Pakistan. 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. USAID will also prioritize water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance as a preventative measure to mitigate the anticipated spread of waterborne diseases.

USAID has also deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the U.S. government’s humanitarian response efforts in Pakistan, she said. This elite team, composed of disaster experts from USAID, is assessing the damage, identifying priority needs, and coordinating with the Government of Pakistan and humanitarian partners. The United States is the single largest humanitarian donor to Pakistan.

Samantha Power said the United States was deeply saddened for the flood victims and the loss of loved ones, livelihoods, and homes throughout Pakistan. We stand with communities in Pakistan during this difficult time and will continue to help them in this time of need.

Meanwhile, United States Central Command (Centcom) in support of the USAID has begun airlifting life-saving humanitarian supplies to support people and communities affected by ongoing, severe flooding in Pakistan.

The supplies include nearly $2.2 million worth of essential life support resources, including food preparation and shelter materials, which will be delivered over the course of the coming days in approximately 20 different shipments around the country.

Ambassador Blome said, on September 2, 2022 USAID had deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the US government’s response efforts, which the US military response is supporting. The total amount of the US 2022 flood response to date is $30.1 million, including these airlifted humanitarian supplies.

He said the support for the people of Pakistan was unwavering. “Our emergency flood relief aid and supplies are a continuation of decades of US assistance to Pakistan, including programmes designed to help prepare for and mitigate the effects of natural hazards.”

These programmes include training on early warning systems, capacity building for community leaders and Government of Pakistan disaster management authorities, and restoring livelihoods to improve food, nutrition, and economic security, including $3 million in support this year prior to the floods.

 

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