| GEO Pakistan|
Clinton to pledge more US aid for Pakistan at UN
| Updated at: 0625 PST, Thursday, August 19, 2010|
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce extra aid for a flooded Pakistan Thursday at a UN meeting that will mobilize international support for the country, her spokesman said.
The chief US diplomat will speak to the UN General Assembly in New York about "the humanitarian situation from the floods in Pakistan," spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.
The general assembly, expected to meet around 3 pm, "will be an opportunity to express solidarity and to further mobilize support of member states and the international community for the situation in Pakistan," he said.
During her visit to New York, Clinton will also meet with both UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Crowley said.
"And at tomorrow's meeting we expect that she will update and announce an increase in the US assistance to Pakistan," Crowley said.
Steadily increasing its contribution, the United States said it has now given some 90 million dollars towards flood relief, distributing the funds through the Pakistani authorities or relief organizations on the ground.
"These funds are being used to provide critical supplies to flood affected populations," the State Department said in a statement.
"The US also is providing millions of dollars of additional in kind and technical assistance," it said.
It said it is providing temporary bridges to replace those washed away, and that 18 US military and civilian military aircraft stationed in Pakistan and three in Afghanistan have been deployed in support of relief and rescue operations.
"US helicopters have evacuated 5,912 people and delivered 717,713 pounds of relief supplies," it said.
On August 4, days after the flooding began, Clinton promised that Washington would help Pakistan, a top ally in the fight against Islamist militants, cope with a disaster affecting millions of Pakistanis "in the days and weeks ahead."
Meanwhile, the US government could divert part of its five-year, 7.5 billion dollar non-military aid program for Pakistan -- which was adopted by Congress last year -- into short-term relief.
"We have begun to think about what we will do with that long-term security assistance provided underneath Kerry-Lugar-Berman," the deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Frank Ruggiero, told reporters.
"And that could require us shifting it from what we thought was a priority three weeks ago to what is a priority today," he said.
"What we'll have to wait and see is what are the mid to long-term economic needs of... Pakistan that we could use that funding to address," he said. "But I guess we would also consider more immediate needs as they arise."