US announces $ 190 m grant for flood affected people

ISLAMABAD: United States of America (USA) and Pakistan here on Thursday signed an agreement under which the former would provide  US $ 190 million of accelerated funding to Pakistan for supporting families affected by flood damage through the Citizen’s Damage Compensation Fund  (CDCF). Exchange of note to this affect was made by visiting Acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Frank J.  Ruggiero and Federal  Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here at  Ministry of Finance.In his remarks, Dr.Abdul Hafeez Shaikh thanked US government for contribution of US $ 190 million to Pakistan for the people affected by the devastating floods and enable them to restart their lives and other economic activities in flood affected areas.He said that under the decision of the Council of Common Interest  (CCI), the flood victim would be given Rs.100,000 through a transparent  method of Watan Card system.

He paid tribute to late Richard Halbrooke who himself visited the flood affected areas and pledged to help the flood victims on behalf of his government.The government of Pakistan established the CDFC to provide cash grants to approximately 1.6 million families in flood affected areas.The CDCF consists of an initial cash grant of Rs.20,000 (About $ 235) to each eligible family.The US $ 190 million contribution would come from funds authorized by the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation.“Today ‘s announcement is further proof that the United States would continue to provide assistance with recovery and reconstruction to help Pakistanis rebuild their lives”,  Ruggierio said.“We believe this fund is directly benefiting flood affected families in their time of great need”, he remarked.He said “we will continue to work with government of Pakistan to identify priorities for the remainder of the US commitment for $ 500 million of the accelerated US assistance from the Kerry-Lugar Berman funding for flood recovery and reconstruction effort.Acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Frank J. Ruggiero on behalf of President Obama, Secretary Clinton and people of America said that he is visiting Pakistan to assure the Pakistani people that US remains committed friend of Pakistan.“My visit is meant to continue the legacy work by the office of Special Representative and to ensure that our dialogue with the people of Pakistan continues with the same intensity and candor that we have developed over the past two years”, he remarked.He added that US would stand committed to a long term, enduring  partnership with Pakistan – APP