US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome (L) and CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah. — US embassy website

US announces $1m in disaster aid for Pakistan

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US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome (L) and CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah. — US embassy website

KARACHI: The United States has announced a $1 million disaster aid grant to Pakistan on Friday to overcome challenges caused by natural disasters such as flooding.

Donald Blome, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, announced the grant during a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in Karachi. 

According to the US ambassador, the humanitarian assistance will help the agriculture community of Sindh and Pakistan’s disaster management authorities in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces strengthen their response and preparedness functionality in the face of floods and other crisis situations.

Blome asserted that the people of the US stood with the people of Pakistan during the challenging time, adding, “Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones in the floods across Pakistan and who are also dealing with recovery efforts.”

He mentioned that the US government was committed to helping Pakistan and working side by side with the federal and provincial governments and the international community towards a recovery bound to bring back the dynamic vitality of the Pakistani nation.

The US ambassador also discussed USAID projects in the education and health sectors and other matters of mutual interest.

On the occasion, the CM Sindh briefed the US ambassador on the losses and damage caused by the heavy downpour and added that the heavy rainfall had badly damaged eight districts out of three divisions in Sindh.

“Overall 723 dehs have been affected, whereas 548 different roads stretching over 2,135.4 kilometres, 45 bridges, 32 shops, 22,817 houses partially and 4,520 completely damaged, 974 livestock perished, and crops over an area of 676,484 acres were washed away,” said the CM Sindh.

Shah said heavy rains had so far claimed 130 lives, including 54 males, 11 females, and 65 children, while 422 people sustained multiple injuries.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed gratitude for the US government’s efforts, through USAID, to strengthen Pakistan’s disaster management capabilities and work with Sindh communities, most prone to natural calamities. 

He also mentioned the $155 million Sindh Basic Education Programme (SBEP) funded by USAID with a $10 million provincial government contribution.

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