Update: U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding Disaster
Office of the Spokesman
August 12, 2010
To date, approximately $76 million in assistance is being provided by the U.S. to flood-affected populations in Pakistan. These funds are being provided to UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations to provide emergency shelter, food, health care, clean water and sanitation. The U.S. is providing additional assistance through the expansion of pre-existing programs and humanitarian activities in flood-affected areas and is also mobilizing significant U.S. military resources to deliver supplies and rescue victims of the disaster. Our response has been consistent with our humanitarian values and our deep commitment to Pakistan.
Two U.S. Marine Corp CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters were en route to Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan today in support of flood relief efforts but had to be diverted to Chaklala Air Base near Islamabad because of weather. The two aircraft are the first of 19 helicopters urgently ordered to Pakistan by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The remaining aircraft will arrive over the next few days and will include, in total, three U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Dragon, four U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion and 12 U.S. Marine Corps CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters.
The United States announced additional humanitarian contributions for flood-affected communities in Pakistan on August 12, including up to $11.25 million for UNHCR and up to $5 million for ICRC. Funding would support UNHCR’s protection activities, timely delivery of emergency shelter materials and NFIs to affected populations, and camp coordination and camp management. It would also support ICRC’s relief distributions, including food, tents, and shelter materials; water purification; restoration of community water supplies; preventive health measures for the flood-affected population.
The U.S. is providing $3 million to WHO for the expansion of Pakistan’s Disease Early Warning System (DEWS) nationwide and to establish the first 15 treatment centers for water-borne illness, located in high risk flood-affected areas.
As of this morning, the U.S. is providing Save the Children (SCF) with $4.1 million for food vouchers enabling flood victims to purchase food in their local markets.
U.S. Contributions To Date:
To date, the U.S. has supplied a month’s ration of food to about 191,000 people through our partnership with the World Food Program. U.S.-funded food rations currently are reaching about 20,000 people per day.
The six U.S. Army helicopters, which began humanitarian assistance operations in Pakistan August 5, were grounded today due to weather conditions. To date, the helicopters have evacuated 3089 people and delivered 322,340 pounds of relief supplies.
Through August 11, seven U.S. helicopters assigned to the Pakistani Ministry of Interior’s 50th Squadron rescued 1005 people, airlifted 71,973 pounds of supplies and engaged in other support missions.
More than 1,100 rolls of plastic sheeting and 14,000 blankets arrived in Islamabad Tuesday. The plastic sheeting will benefit approximately 11,100 families or 66,000 people. The materials will be transported to Punjab Province for distribution in the heavily-flooded area.
A total of 440,928 halal meals were delivered to civilian and military officials in Pakistan, a contribution of about $3.7 million dollars.
Emergency relief items were delivered to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in Peshawar, including 18 Zodiac rescue boats, 6 water filtration units, 10 water storage bladders and 30 concrete-cutting saws valued at $746,000.
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 results 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.”
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KPCCI) announced a pilot cash-for-work project to help flood victims rebuild 300 houses in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda. If successful, it will be expanded to rebuild as many as 5,000 homes.
The Lahore-based American Business Forum has collected donations from: Coca-Cola, Environment Consultancies & Options, Levi Strauss Pakistan, Kabani & Company, General Electric, Monsanto AgriTech, Al-Bario Engineering, and Netsol Technologies.
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.
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