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$150 m committed for flood victims part of longstanding US commitment: Rajiv Shah PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, Aug 26 (APP): Administrator USAID Dr. Rajiv Shah said that 150 million dollars committed by the United States for flood affected people in Pakistan is part of the longstanding and significant portfolio commitment to help the country overcome consequences of the natural disaster and economic challenges.He was speaking as chief guest in Radio Roundtable programme launched by Radio Pakistan. The new series is aimed at discussing major issues of Pakistan and the first roundtable was devoted to role of donor agencies and radio as an industry in rebuilding Pakistan.


The Administrator USAID said his current visit to Pakistan was aimed at understanding the tragic scale and tremendous human cost of the disaster so as to ensure that the US Government is fully prepared to effectively respond in meeting immediate requirements of the affected people. He said 20 million people have been affected by the floods and eight million of them are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance for water, shelter and medical support.
He said the USAID has an active presence in Pakistan ever since earthquake of 2005 and that is why it has been able to provide critical assistance to the affected people. Over six thousand people have been evacuated with the US support and 1.5 million people have been provided with food ration for thirty days, he said adding they are also providing assistance to ensure shelter, clean drinking water and health needs of the affected population.
Dr. Rajiv Shah pointed out that the country’s 4.3 million acres of land or 23 per cent of the total crop land has been inundated by flood water inflicting heavy losses on agriculture. He said it will be their priority to ensure that the farmers get access to appropriate seed, replenish their livestock and get best quality inputs. The USAID will also provide support for distribution and marketing of the agricultural products so as to ensure stability in their prices.
He said the United States has established 60 large-scale treatment centres to provide critical medical assistance against infectious diseases.
Replying to a question he said the donor agencies are forming a sort of cluster to provide assistance in areas of pressing needs.
Taking part in the programme, former Speaker of the National Assembly Syed Fakhar Imam said there is urgency to restore damaged agriculture infrastructure in view of the fact that the wheat crop is to be sown in two months.
Director-General Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi, who hosted the programme, said the process of rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction is difficult as it needs a lot of planning, coordination and effective communication strategy besides huge resources.
He pointed out that the United States is doing a great effort in rescue and relief both in monetary and logistical support for the affected people.
Apart from experts of different fields, representatives of different radio networks and some PBC correspondents also participated in the programme from different regions giving their impressions and suggestions to cope with the flood situation.
 
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