Wednesday, September 14, 2022
The United States (US) has once again reaffirmed its support for Pakistan as a third of the country is inundated as Pakistan seeks assistance from the international community to cope with the situation after flood devastation.
Record monsoon rains and glacier melt in northern mountains, have triggered floods that have swept away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock, and crops, and killed more than 1,391 people.
Huge areas of the country are inundated and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes. The government says the lives of nearly 33 million people have been disrupted.
During regular press briefing, US state department spokesperson Ned Price extended his heartfelt condolences with the flood affectees.
“We are deeply saddened by the devastation and the loss of life throughout Pakistan that these historic floods have caused. We stand with the people of Pakistan at this difficult time,” he said.
Giving detail about sending aid to Pakistan, Ned Price said, “as of September 12th, earlier this week, a total of nine US Central Command flights delivered more than half of the 630 metric tons of relief supplies from USAID’s Dubai warehouse for the response to these massive floods. In total, CENTCOM will airlift more than 41,000 kitchen sets, 1,500 rolls of plastic sheeting, tens of thousands of plastic tarps, 8,700 shelter fixing kits – all in support of USAID’s flood relief.”
“We have provided more than $53 million in humanitarian assistance, including urgently needed support for food, nutrition, multipurpose cash, safe drinking water, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, as well as shelter assistance. We’re going to continue to work very closely with our Pakistani partners to continue to assess the damage that has been wrought by these floods, and we’ll continue to provide assistance to our partners in this time of need,” he added.
Speaking about the selling of F-16 equipments to Pakistan, Ned Price termed Pakistan as an important counterterrorism partner.
“Pakistan is an important partner in a number of regards, an important counterterrorism partner. And as part of our longstanding policy, we provide life cycle maintenance and sustainment packages for US origin platforms,” he said.
Ned Price said that Pakistan’s F-16 program, it’s an important part of the broader US Pakistan bilateral relationship, and this proposed sale will sustain Pakistan’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining the F-16 fleet.
“This is a fleet that allows Pakistan to support counterterrorism operations, and we expect Pakistan will take sustained action against all terrorist groups,” he added.