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Washington announces additional aid for flood-ravaged Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — The United States has stepped up assistance to Pakistan’s flood relief efforts, announcing $10 million in aid, in addition to Washington’s already announced financial assistance of $56.1 million, it said. the Pakistani Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

Washington is the biggest aid contributor to cash-strapped Pakistan, which is struggling to get tents, food and other supplies to hundreds of thousands of people living in makeshift camps after being displaced by record floods that have killed 1,638 people since mid-June.

The latest announcement came weeks after the United States set up a humanitarian airlift to help the impoverished South Asian nation. After the scale of the devastation became clear, the United Nations launched an emergency appeal for $160 million to help more than 33 million flood-affected people.

The ministry statement follows a meeting on Monday between Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington. He said the two men discussed the unprecedented flooding, caused in part by climate change, and that Bhutto-Zardari thanked the US government for its assistance.

“No country could face a crisis of this magnitude alone,” the ministry told Bhutto-Zardari, quoting Blinken. The foreign minister also said that Pakistan is “one of the lowest emitters and, ironically, one of the hardest hit by climate change”.

Pakistan seeks climate justice and is looking to partners for help in recovering from this calamity, Bhutto-Zardari added. According to the statement, Blinken expressed condolences for the loss of “precious lives and monumental economic loss” and the United States’ commitment to assist Pakistan in the aftermath of the floods.

The devastation caused by this summer’s floods in Pakistan has also highlighted the disproportionate effect of climate change on poor countries. Experts say Pakistan is only responsible for 0.4% of global historical emissions attributed to climate change.

Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, in an interview with The Associated Press, detailed the scale of the disaster and urged world leaders gathered for their annual meeting at the United Nations General Assembly to unite and mobilize resources “to build resilient infrastructure, to build adaptation, so that our future generations are saved.

Sharif also called for more help for relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in Pakistan, especially in the southern province of Sindh, the most affected of all provinces in the country, where many districts are still under waters.

Pakistan says the disaster caused damage worth $30 billion. UN agencies and several countries, including the United States, have so far sent 129 planes loaded with aid.

Even as they deal with unprecedented flooding, Pakistani authorities are also grappling with outbreaks among survivors, particularly in Sindh, where waterborne infections, malaria and dengue fever have caused more than 300 deaths since July, according to health officials.

washingtonpost Gt

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