WASHINGTON: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan has thanked the Administrator United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ms. Samantha Power for her announcement of additional $20 million financial assistance today for flood relief, thus taking the total US aid volume to $51.1 million.
“The people of Pakistan are grateful to you for your presence in Pakistan at this difficult hour and for enhancing humanitarian assistance for the flood victims”, said the Ambassador.
“Ms. Samantha Power is a dynamic leader who has always championed humanitarian causes”, Masood Khan said.
The Administrator USAID Ms. Power is currently visiting Pakistan to assess the situation on ground l, meet affected communities and find ways to enhance US support for the country passing through a difficult time.
Sharing her experiences after witnessing the magnitude of the calamity, Samantha Power tweeted that she had “never seen so much water on land. Melted glaciers & unprecedented monsoon rains flooded one third of the country.”
Ms. Samantha Power further added that USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team was on the ground supporting government efforts to get food, shelter & medicine to those most impacted.
In another tweet she wrote, “Hard to capture the enormity & devastation of Pakistan’s floods. In stats: 33 million ppl affected. Over 1,300 ppl killed (? children). 750k livestock killed. 1.7 million homes destroyed. 17,500 schools damaged. In searing visuals from today, countless villages now underwater.”
Replying to her tweet, Ambassador Masood Khan thanked her for the tremendous support and personal leadership for ongoing flood relief operations in Pakistan.
“We are indebted to you and USAID”, wrote the Ambassador.
Ambassador Masood Khan had written a letter to Ms. Samantha Power on 26 August 2022 apprising her of the scale of the calamity and the widespread destruction caused by the unprecedented flood.
The ambassador had noted that USAID had traditionally been making a huge contribution to promoting Pakistan-US relations by providing assistance in multiple fields including social development and education.
Recalling the assistance provided by USAID during 2005 earthquake and 2010 flash floods, the ambassador remarked that “up to this day, the people of Pakistan remember your historic gesture.”
“As we strive to mitigate the suffering of our people and cope with this colossal calamity, we would continue to count on your support”, wrote the Ambassador.
“The United States Stands with Pakistan during this difficult hour”, responded Ms. Samantha Power. She thanked Pakistan’s envoy for apprising her of the situation caused by “climate-driven flooding” in Pakistan.
Referring to the US assistance announced by that time, she said that the funding would supplement investment in early recovery, risk reduction and resilience that would help the government of Pakistan and local communities to mitigate the effects of future disasters.
Ms. Power also said that USAID was monitoring the situation in close coordination with staff, partners and Pakistani officials. She wrote that she would be visiting Pakistan to “see our team’s work firsthand, hear directly from the people and communities affected and learn how the United States can deepen its support in the weeks and months ahead.” She had assured the Ambassador of continued support of the United States during difficult period.
“The US Agency for International Development will continue to support the government of Pakistan in its efforts to save lives, reduce suffering, and secure a sustainable recovery”, Ms. Samantha wrote in her letter.
In Pakistan, Ms. Samantha met with UN Secretary General António Guterres and thanked him for visiting Pakistan and working to rally a far more substantial global response.
“No time spare for citizens, philanthropists, private sector & governments to step-up to meet this unprecedented emergency”, she wrote in her tweet. She also met member of the US military working alongside Pakistani authorities and the USAID team.
Ms. Samantha Power also met flood affected families and shared their miseries through her tweet.