The U.S. on Friday announced $1 million in disaster aid to Pakistan to support the country’s ability to address natural disasters such as flooding after torrential downpours.
In a statement, the U.S. Consulate for Karachi said that the aid would be funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and had been announced by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome during a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in Karachi. It said the assistance would build the resilience of agricultural communities in Sindh, and support Pakistan’s disaster management authorities in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan to better respond to future disasters.
“The people of America stand with the people of Pakistan during this challenging time,” said Blome. “Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones in the floods across Pakistan and who are also dealing with recovery efforts. We are proud to help build the resilience of Sindh communities so they are better able to face such disasters in the future. We remain committed to helping Pakistan recover and rebuild as quickly as possible,” he added.
Shah, meanwhile, hailed the U.S.-Pakistan partnership, saying: “The American people have always stood with the people of Pakistan during the challenging times in the past, and now, when torrential rains have wreaked havoc in several parts of Sindh province. The people of Sindh, and in particular the people of Pakistan, are highly grateful for the United States government’s announcement of this $1 million grant to bolster Pakistan’s ability to address natural disasters.”
During their meeting, the two officials also discussed USAID projects in education and health sectors and other matters of mutual interest. The Sindh chief minister briefed the U.S. ambassador on the losses and damage caused by the heavy downpour, adding that heavy rainfall had badly damaged eight districts out of three divisions in Sindh.
He said the ongoing heavy rains had resulted in 130 deaths, including 54 men, 11 women, and 65 children, while 422 people had sustained multiple injuries. He also mentioned the $155 million Sindh Basic Education Program (SBEP) funded by USAID with a $10 million provincial government contribution.
According to the U.S. Consulate, Washington and Islamabad have worked together for 75 years on issues that are important to both nations, including energy, economic growth, peace and inclusion, education, and health. Since 2002, it said, the U.S. government has provided over $32 billion of support to foster a more stable, peaceful, and prosperous Pakistan.