Has the US been lethargic? The facts say nay…
(In The Friday Times, September 3, 2010)
The US response to the floods has been substantive and generous. To date,the US has provided about $150 million to support relief efforts in Pakistan, including funding for the operations of the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the UN’s emergency relief plan, and many local and international organizations. The table (on the right) summarises contributions by country (compiled by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).The US also is providing millions of dollars of additional in-kind and technical assistance.
Rescue operations: The US is expanding programmes in flood-affected areas, providing temporary bridges, and mobilizing significant US military and civilian resources to rescue victims and deliver needed supplies. U.S. military and civilian aircraft continue to support flood relief operations. Since August 22, US aircrafts have evacuated 7,835 people and delivered more than 1,600,000 pounds of relief supplies.
Food aid: On August 22, US Air Force C-130 aircrafts, delivered 79,000 pounds of food and relief supplies from Rawalpindi to Sukkur and Multan.The World Food Program (WFP) has reached more than 1.3 million flood-affected beneficiaries with almost 16,000 metric tons of food assistance, approximately 50% of which is provided bythe US. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace has provided WFP with an additional $32.3 million for local and regional procurement of food, bringing the US total contribution to more than $51 million.
Water and sanitation and health: Since August 8, U.S. water treatment units have provided approximately 4.8 million litres of safe water. On August 23, USAID/OFDA (Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance) committed more than $1.26 million to a non-governmental organization for logistics and relief commodities and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities for flood-affected populations. In Punjab and KPK USAID/OFDA also committed $3 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) to support health, shelter, and WASH activities.
Shelter: To date, relief agencies have distributed more than 109,500 tents and 72,200 units of plastic sheeting to more than 873,000 people. As of August 23, USAID/OFDA had provided 2,463 rolls of plastic sheeting for at least 73,890 people, including flood-affected populations in Sindh.