The United States has announced an additional $30 million in aid for flood victims in Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the US Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday.
The press release said that total funding from the US for the flood response, food security, disaster preparedness and capacity-building efforts in the country now amounts to $97m for the year.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome announced the additional funds during a trip to Shikarpur district where he helped distribute emergency shelters, latrines and hygiene kits to flood affectees.
The press release said the new funding will expand efforts to address immediate needs, scale up assistance to the most affected communities and enable the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to reach approximately 2m people.
“With the additional funding, the US government, through USAID, will provide life-saving food, nutrition, and health assistance to mitigate increased food insecurity and malnutrition resulting from the impact of the floods, as well as curb the rise of diseases resulting from stagnant flood waters.
“The new funding will also provide shelter supplies to help families rebuild as well as winterisation kits to help families prepare as cold weather approaches. And because women and girls are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters, like flooding, the US is providing increased protection support to prevent gender-based violence as well as provide support for survivors.
“Finally, logistics support to partners will help accelerate the delivery of relief assistance to those in need,” the press release reads.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed his gratitude to the US for its “consistent support in this difficult time”.
He said assisting the flood victims across the country was still the “single most important issue” today.
An Oxfam report released on Monday notes that the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan this year directly affected at least 33m people and costs were estimated at over $30 billion. Yet the UN humanitarian appeal for the floods is set at only $472.3m (just over one per cent of what is needed), and only 19pc funded.
The flood response is not considered to be anywhere near enough to help millions of people who have lost their livelihoods and homes and face hunger, disease and psychological impacts, says the report, prepared by a group of more than 100 researchers, activists and policymakers around the globe.