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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid