Last month, I traveled to Pakistan where melted glaciers and unprecedented monsoon rains flooded one third of the country. To fly over the devastation was to witness a sunken world. Three hundred kilometers from the nearest ocean, we saw mainly water, punctuated intermittently by the tops of the tallest trees. Approximately 1,730 people lost their lives in the immediate flooding, while nearly another 12,900 were injured.
For those who survived, unimaginable challenges still lie ahead. Although the water is receding, the damage remains vast. Young children I met in Sindh Province described the complete destruction of their schools, and remained uncertain if they’d be able to return. Cases of vector and waterborne diseases are rising. More than two million homes have been damaged or destroyed. Croplands have been decimated, and nearly 1.2 million livestock – a major source of livelihoods and food – have been killed.
Today, I am pleased to share that the United States, through USAID, is providing an additional $30 million to help communities affected by the flooding. With these new funds, the United States will expand upon its existing response efforts, enabling USAID to reach nearly two million people. It will enable our partners to provide life-saving emergency food and nutrition assistance, including both in-kind and cash-based food assistance, as well as to screen and treat severe acute malnutrition in the most food-insecure areas. To help families recover, the new funding will also provide shelter supplies and logistical support to get assistance to the hardest-hit areas as well as winterization kits to help families as cold weather approaches. Because women, girls, and marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted and placed at greater risk by natural disasters like flooding, USAID is providing increased support to prevent gender-based violence as well as support to help survivors of such violence.
Since the onset of the floods, the United States has worked with the United Nations and NGO partners to scale up vital humanitarian assistance, and USAID partnered with the U.S. military to successfully complete an air bridge that delivered nearly 630 metric tons of life-saving relief commodities to Pakistan. With today’s announcement, the United States assistance to Pakistan this year now stands at $97 million, the largest of any single donor.
The United States continues to stand with the people of Pakistan during this heartbreaking time.
For the latest updates on USAID’s humanitarian assistance in Pakistan visit: https://www.usaid.gov/humanitarian-assistance/pakistan.