The United States’ Central Command, in support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has begun airlifting life-saving humanitarian supplies to support people and communities affected by floods 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.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced at a press conference in Islamabad on Friday that through USAID, Washington was 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.
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 prioritise water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance as a preventative measure to mitigate the anticipated spread of waterborne diseases, she said.
According to the USAID official, 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 US has provided over $50.1 million in disaster assistance to help the people of Pakistan.
WFP SCALES UP RESPONSE: Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday announced that it was scaling up its emergency response to reach 1.9 million people affected by floods in Pakistan. The significant scaling-up requires $152 million, up from the originally planned $34 million, as part of the flash appeal launched by the UN in August.
Already, the WFP has reached more than 400,000 people with food assistance in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and continues to expand its operations in support of the government-led response across the country. A record 33 million people are affected by the floods, the deadliest in more than a decade.
More than 630,000 people are still in relief camps, over 80 per cent of them in Sindh alone. In Balochistan and Sindh, large areas of land remain inundated, and scores of communities are cut off, creating challenges for humanitarian agencies to deliver aid. There has also been an outbreak of waterborne diseases among the displaced families. In addition to food distributions, the WFP is providing specialised, nutritious food for 31,000 young children and 28,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women to prevent malnutrition and boost their immunity. The WFP is also reinforcing the government’s logistical capacity to ensure no disruptions to humanitarian supply chains.
GERMAN AID: Separately, Germany announced on Friday that it would provide another 1 million euros as aid to flood victims in Pakistan for urgently needed food, hygiene products & medical supplies.
In addition, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday presented a cheque worth Rs15 million to Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif as a contribution from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the PM’s Flood Relief Fund.
Also on Friday, the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited contributed 10 percent of its net profit for the rehabilitation of flood victims as the bank registered Rs514 million after tax profit.