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Clinton Announces US Aid for Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will send $110 million in emergency aid to Pakistan. Clinton detailed the U.S. effort to help an estimated 2 million displaced Pakistanis.

Secretary Clinton says the U.S. is sending the money to international aid efforts for people who have fled intense fighting in Swat Valley, between Pakistani government troops and Taliban militants.

The top U.S. diplomat says Pakistanis can overcome the situation, with help from the world community.

"And I am confident that Pakistan's institutions and citizens will succeed in confronting this humanitarian challenge if the international community steps up and provides the support that is needed," she said.

The secretary of state says the U.S. aid package includes family relief kits, tents, radios, generators and food, much of it purchased from local sources in Pakistan.

Clinton says Pakistani government troops are fighting a tough battle against the militants.

"Providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but we believe it is essential to global security and the security of the United States, and we are prepared to do more as the situation demands," she added.

Secretary Clinton says defeating the Taliban and al-Qaida is not only in Pakistan's vital interest, but that of the United States as well.

"I do not think anyone doubts their continuing efforts to plot against us," said Clinton. "They have not given up on their desire to inflict damage, harm and murder on the United States of America."

The largest expenditure in the package is $26 million to buy wheat, other food and related items from local sources.

One hundred million dollars of the aid comes from the State Department. The other $10 million comes from the Pentagon, where a spokesman says two C-17 cargo planes will fly to Pakistan Wednesday, carrying Halal meals, water trucks and tents.