News / USA

US to Give One-Half Billion Dollars for Pakistan Flood Assistance

Flood survivors carry bags of wheat flour in the village Khairpur Nathan Shah, Pakistan (file photo)
Flood survivors carry bags of wheat flour in the village Khairpur Nathan Shah, Pakistan (file photo)

The United States has announced it will provide $500-million in additional financial aid to Pakistan to help rebuild the country after devastating floods led to the worst natural disaster in the nation's history.

The U.S. Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, announced the United States will "fast track" another one-half billion dollars to help the millions of Pakistanis affected by the floods.

"Now is the time to accelerate the rebuilding effort so families can put a permanent roof back over their heads, replace the livestock that has been lost, rebuild their agricultural base, send their children back to school and return to a normal life," said Holbrooke.

The flooding began with monsoon rains in late July and spread over a large portion of the country, initially displacing 20-million people.

The additional aid is being drawn from a $7.5 billion multiyear package of U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan.

The money is in addition to $500-million the U.S. has already contributed to help Islamabad deal with the impact of the disaster.

Ambassador Holbrooke says transparency regarding how the money is spent will be essential if Pakistan is going to have continued support.

"To continue support at these very high levels we will need to be able to show to the American people, to the American taxpayers, who pay a far higher percentage of their income in taxes than is the case here, that the money reaches those who need it most and that Pakistanis, especially those in the wealthier sector of your economy, pay their fair share in taxes."

Ambassador Holbrooke's remarks were made to the Pakistan Development Forum, a meeting designed to give the government in Islamabad an opportunity to discuss flood reconstruction and other economic issues with international donors.

The Pakistani government has developed a fund to make financial payments directly to those affected by the floods.

Addressing the same forum, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the flood damage is so massive it will take billions of dollars to rebuild.

"Pakistan has been able to meet the immediate challenges posed by the floods and by terrorism, yet there are long-term challenges that are daunting.  Flood reconstruction will require billions in investment."

Mr. Gilani urged the donors to give the Pakistani government more time to carry out structural reforms, asking them to consider it a "work in progress."

Prime Minister Gilani was straightforward when discussing the challenges facing his government.

"In many ways Pakistan is similar to most developing countries.  Like others we have problems of governance.  Like many we have issues of transparency and corruption and we do not invest enough in our social sectors, but these are the common challenges in developing and many developed countries," said Gilani.

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank estimate damage from the flooding is about $9.7-billion.

Pakistani officials say it will take another $30-billion to reconstruct the nation's infrastructure and rehabilitate those areas affected by the disaster.  

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid