Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
Office of the Spokesman
August 9, 2010
The United States has responded immediately and generously to Pakistan's call for assistance following the tragic and devastating floods that started on July 29. Our response has been consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan. Support to Pakistan includes both financial assistance and the immediate provision of urgently needed supplies and services, drawing on unique U.S. capabilities and resources. Latest Developments:
U.S. Military helicopters supporting relief and rescue operations in Pakistan resumed operations today. They rescued approximately 565 people and delivered 56,000 pounds of relief supplies.
To date, the U.S. has supplied food sufficient to feed about 158,500 people through its partnership with the World Food Program and is currently reaching about 35,000 to 49,000 people per day.
To coordinate the U.S. humanitarian aid, USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) began work in Pakistan August 8. The DART is composed of humanitarian relief experts, many of whom worked in Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, to monitor assistance and quickly fill identified gaps by acquiring relief supplies, locally if possible.
U.S. Contributions To Date:
Six U.S. Army helicopters began humanitarian assistance operations August 5, but were grounded on August 6 -8 due to weather conditions. On their first day of operations, they evacuated more than 800 people from Kalam to Khwazakhela and transported 66,000 pounds of relief supplies..
To date, the U.S.’s financial commitment for assistance to flood-affected populations stands at $35 million. The money is being provided by the U. S. Agency for International Development to international organizations and established Pakistani NGOs to provide food, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene assistance and shelter for those displaced by the floods.
U.S. helicopters assigned to the Pakistani Ministry of Interior’s 50th Squadron are continuing their operations and have rescued 1005 people and airlifted 37,473 pounds of supplies.
More than 436,000 halal meals have been delivered to civilian and military officials in Pakistan, a contribution of $3.25 million dollars.
Emergency relief items were delivered to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Peshawar, including 14 Zodiac rescue boats, 6 water filtration units (each capable of providing clean water to 10,000 people a day), 10 water storage bladders and 30 concrete-cutting saws valued at $1,003,702.
Twelve pre-fabricated steel bridges, valued at $3.2 million, have been made available as temporary replacements for highway bridges damaged by flooding in Peshawar and Kurram Agency. A 25kw generator, costing approximately $30,000, was provided to the Frontier Scouts-KPk to support their flood relief efforts.
Private Sector Response:
Working with mGive, Americans are contributing to Pakistan flood relief by texting the word “SWAT” to 50555. The text will result in a donation of $10 to the UNHCR Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.
The Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan cellular phone industry are inviting Pakistanis to contribute to the Prime Minister’s Fund for Flood Relief beginning August 5 by texting the amount of their donation to “1234”
Proctor and Gamble donated $455,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, including 4 million PUR water purification tablets, which are especially effective in making flood water potable.
The global U.S. health company Abbott Labs has committed $83,000 in cash and in-kind donations for flood victims.
Public Donation Information
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. A list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for flood response efforts in Pakistan can be found at www.interaction.org. Information on organizations responding to the humanitarian situation in Pakistan may be available at www.reliefweb.int.
Cash donations allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.
More information can be found at: USAID: www.usaid.gov – Keyword: Donations o The Center for International Disaster Information: www.cidi.org or (703) 276-1914 o Information on relief activities of the humanitarian community can be found at www.reliefweb.int
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