WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The United States is responding generously to Pakistan’s call for assistance following the tragic and devastating floods that started on July 29. Our response is consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan. Support to Pakistan includes both financial assistance and the immediate provision of urgently needed supplies and services, drawing on unique U.S. capabilities and resources.
The United States announced today an additional $20 million in humanitarian assistance for flood-affected people of Pakistan. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is using the new funding to expand existing programs and activities through flood-affected regions of the country, including in the south where there has been a lighter humanitarian presence until now.
This assistance is provided through the international humanitarian community, as well as through an existing mechanism providing funds to Pakistani humanitarian organizations, meeting the needs of flood-affected communities.
U.S. military helicopters supporting relief and rescue operations in partnership with the Pakistani military have rescued approximately 939 people and transported 91,600 pounds of relief supplies.
This evening, a Boeing 747, carrying 1,100 rolls of plastic sheeting and 17,000 blankets, arrived in Islamabad. The plastic sheeting will benefit approximately 11,100 families or 66,000 people. The materials will be transported immediately to Punjab Province for distribution in the heavily-flooded area.
To date, the U.S. has supplied a month’s ration of food to about 168,500 people through its partnership with the World Food Program; U.S.-funded food rations currently are reaching about 20,000 people per day.
U.S. Contributions To Date:
Six U.S. Army helicopters began humanitarian assistance operations in Pakistan August 5. To date, U.S. military helicopters have evacuated 2,328 people and delivered 213,600 pounds of relief supplies.
The U.S. made a $55 million financial commitment for assistance to flood-affected populations. The money is provided by the U. S. Agency for International Development to international organizations and established Pakistani NGOs to provide food, health care and shelter for those displaced by the floods.
U.S. helicopters assigned to the Pakistani Ministry of Interior’s 50th Squadron are continuing their operations and have rescued 1005 people and airlifted 43,973 pounds of supplies.
436,944 halal meals have been delivered to civilian and military officials in Pakistan, a contribution of $3.25 million dollars.
Emergency relief items were delivered to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Peshawar, including 18 Zodiac rescue boats, 6 water filtration units (each capable of providing clean water to 10,000 people a day), 10 water storage bladders and 30 concrete-cutting saws valued at $746,000.
Twelve pre-fabricated steel bridges, valued at $3.2 million, have been made available as temporary replacements for highway bridges damaged by flooding in Peshawar and Kurram Agency. A 25kw generator, costing approximately $30,000, was provided to the Frontier Scouts-KPk to support their flood relief efforts.
Private Sector Response:
Working with mGive, Americans are contributing to Pakistan flood relief by texting the word “SWAT” to 50555. The text will result in a donation of $10 to the UNHCR Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.
The Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan cellular phone industry are inviting Pakistanis to contribute to the Prime Minister’s Fund for Flood Relief beginning August 5 by texting the amount of their donation to “1234”
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KPCCI) announced a pilot cash-for-work project to help flood victims rebuild 300 houses in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda. If the program is successful, it will be expanded to rebuild as many as 5,000 homes.
The Lahore-based American Business Forum has collected donations from: Coca-Cola, Environment Consultancies & Options, Levi Strauss Pakistan, Kabani & Company, General Electric, Monsanto AgriTech, Al-Bario Engineering, and Netsol Technologies.
Proctor and Gamble donated $455,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, including 4 million PUR water purification tablets, which are especially effective in making flood water potable.
The global U.S. health company Abbott Labs has committed $83,000 in cash and in-kind donations for flood victims.
Public Donation Information:
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for flood response efforts in Pakistan can be found at www.interaction.org. Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Pakistan may be available at www.reliefweb.int.
Cash donations allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.
More information can be found at:
o USAID: www.usaid.gov/pakistanflooding
o The Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org or (703) 276-1914
o Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at www.reliefweb.int .