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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid