SUKKUR, Aug 25 (APP): The United States on Wednesday said the USAID would utilise US 50 million dollars out of the assistance through the Kerry Lugar Berman Bill, for relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people.USAID Administrator Dr Rajiv Shah, who was on a day long visit to see the devastation and meet the displaced people said he was moved to see the plight of the people.He said the United States was committed to the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people and would increase the extent and scale of its assistance.
He also met the people in their tents and enquired about the facilities they were getting.
He was informed that four million people were affected in Sindh and most of the damage was done after breaches on the right bank of the Indus river.
Manzoor Hussain, the administrator at Arain camp outside Sukkur told Dr. Rajiv that there were cases of diarrhea and skin diseases but medical teams were keeping the situation under check.
Later talking to mediamen, Dr. Shah told that the US had evacuated 6000 people stranded at different places, following the worst ever flooding in the country that destroyed 20 per cent crop area and affected 20 million people.
Talking about the enormity of the task ahead, he said, “this disaster represents a major logistics challenge. We are committed to supporting this significant relief effort as much as possible.” Shah said the USAID would keep account of every dollar given in aid keeping track of the US taxpayers money.
He said any new construction made in the flood struck areas with USAID funding would be required to follow US mandated building codes.
The work done during the 2005 earthquake exemplifies that despite the magnitude of the disaster a lot can be done to make a new start, he said adding the USAID built 56 schools in the quake hit areas which were meeting the need of 20,000 students.
Dr. Shah said in the rehabilitation phase, the focus will be on giving out cash grants and initiating programmes in agriculture to help people regain their livelihoods.
He said under the Pak-US Strategic Dialogue a whole range of areas are looked into to promote social and economic progress in Pakistan.
He later also condemned the Taliban threat to discourage Pakistani people from accepting international aid. The USAID chief said in an interview that the violent group’s threat and actions against innocent Pakistanis in this hour of catastrophe are only adding to the woes of suffering people. On the other hand, he said the aid workers are striving to alleviate the sufferings of flood-hit people in this time of crisis. He said the international relief aid momentum is picking up and at this moment the Taliban talk of targetting foreign aid workers is “abhorrent.”
Dr Shah paid tribues to the spirit of resilience the Pakistani people are showing in the face of such tragic loss to the natural disaster – APP