US help to Pakistan in fighting ‘deluge of epic proportions’ reflects their deep bonds: Masood Khan

Investors urged to strengthen US-Pak economic partnerships amid momentum in ties

WASHINGTON, Sep 15 (APP): Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Masood Khan, has called the floods in Pakistan “a deluge of epic proportions” and said “timely and generous” US assistance for the victims was a reflection of deep bonds between the two countries.

He was talking to a high level US delegation comprising representatives from US State Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Center for Disease Control (CDC), US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday.

“We are scrambling not only to save lives but also to alleviate miseries of millions of people who are enduring trauma of climate carnage,” the ambassador said, adding that the government had mobilized all resources.

“However,” he said, “the scale of calamity is beyond the capacity of any government to deal with single-handedly.” Rehabilitation and reconstruction would take months and years to be completed.

Thanking the US government, Congress, corporate sector, humanitarian and philanthropic organizations for their timely response, the ambassador reiterated his call for continued support of friends and international community especially during rehabilitation and reconstruction stages.

He also thanked the delegation for their critical support in making recently held Pak-US Health Dialogue a success. “We have several Pak-US processes moving forward but the fastest track has been of health partnership.”

He said the Pakistan-US Health Dialogue had paved the way for broader engagement on trade and investment, climate change, energy agriculture, science and technology and the tech sector.

Masood Khan said Pakistan had a huge potential in the health sector, highlighting pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, telemedicine and medical transcriptions and billing as the major areas where the two countries could scale up their mutual collaboration.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at USAID, expressed condolences to the people of Pakistan over the large number of flood casualties.

He expressed his concerns about the looming food security issues, spread of polio and other waterborne diseases, breakdown in the availability of clean water and the difficulties the people would be facing during rebuilding their lives.

“We are delighted to have made the commitment that we made so far while also knowing that this is just a drop. We all need to come together to enable Pakistan to rise to its feet.”

Dr Atul Gawande assured the ambassador of continued support of USAID at the difficult time and also towards strengthening healthcare systems of Pakistan.