News / USA

US Seeks to Improve Image Through Pakistan Flood Aid

Multimedia

Robert Raffaele

U.S. officials say they have a long-term commitment to help Pakistan recover from one of the worst disasters in that nation's history. Three weeks of monsoon rains have killed an estimated 1,600 people and affected another 20 million. The American effort also has a secondary purpose  - boosting America's image in Pakistan.

U.S. military helicopters are delivering aid to people in areas of Pakistan hardest hit by the floods.  

The State Department says U.S. assistance to flood-stricken regions has already totaled $76 million.

U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke hopes the aid will make a lasting impression.   

"The people of Pakistan will see that when the crisis hits, it's not the Chinese, it's not the Iranians, it's not other countries," said Richard Holbrooke. "It's not the EU, it's the U.S."

The subtext: there's been a recent spike in anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

In a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly 60 percent of Pakistanis surveyed described the U.S. as an enemy.

Many of those said they oppose strikes by U.S. drones on insurgents in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

They said too many innocent civilians have been killed in the strikes.

But some Pakistani residents in the Swat Valley told a US television network they are grateful for US flood relief.  

Reporter: "Has this help changed the way you view America?"

Resident; "America, they support the needy people."

Reporter: "Yeah, did it surprise you?"

Resident: "Yes, it was a surprise."

However, many Pakistanis are angry about what they see as the slow response by their own government.

On Monday, protesters in Punjab province burned tires and blocked roads.  

The United Nations has launched an appeal for $460 million, but charities say the response has been sluggish, with only 27 percent of the goal reached so far.

In Brussels Monday, August 16, a spokesman said the European Union is considering more aid for Pakistan.

"Since the scale of the floods are the highest and the most serious in the last 80 years, it is possible that the aid approved by the Commission, so far, is not sufficient," said Ferran Taradellas Espuny.

Another major concern - disease.

The United Nations says 3.5 million children in Pakistan are at risk for water-borne diseases.

A spokesman said as many as six million people overall will be at risk for diarrhea and dysentery if donors do not provide more aid.

He warned there could be what he calls a "second wave of death."

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid