ISLAMABAD: The international community has continued to lend a helping hand to Pakistan in the wake of floods of epic proportions that claimed the lives of at least 1,100 people and left more than half of the country submerged.

On Tuesday, Canada, Ireland, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States became the latest states to provide monetary and material support to flood-hit Pakistan as part of the global response against flooding in the country.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional $30 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to support people and communities affected by severe flooding.

The United States also provided over $1.1 million in grant and project support earlier this month to ensure direct assistance reached the communities most impacted and to help mitigate and prevent the effects of future floods, according to a statement.

US announces $30m for flood-hit people; Canada and Australia pledge $5m, $2m, respectively

The US embassy in Islamabad said that in response to the Pakistan government’s request for assistance, the US will prioritise urgently needed food support, safe water, sanitation and hygiene improvements, financial help, and shelter assistance.

Meanwhile, Canada announced $5 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to support Pakistan. Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that his country will continue to provide food, clean water and other essential services through trusted partners.

Minister for International Development and Pacific Economic Development Agency Harjit Sajjan, while announcing the assistance in Ottawa, said that Canada’s support will help scale up the humanitarian resp­onse to provide critical emergency assistance, including food and cash assistance.

On August 19, Canada contributed to the initial funding of $3 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which will be used for health, nutrition, food security and water and sanitation services in flood-affected areas.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the office-bearers of local Pakistani-Canadian organisations in Ottawa was held at the Pakistan High Commission to coordinate the efforts of Canadians living in Pakistan and Canadians of Pakistani origin for relief and rehabilitation of the people affected by floods.

Similarly, the Australian government announced $2 million in urgent humanitarian assistance and said that the support will be delivered through the World Food Programme to assist Pakistan and its people in responding to immediate humanitarian needs, particularly women, children and vulnerable communities.

Furthermore, after the directives of Qatari Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the gas-rich country provided the first batch of urgent aid to Pakistan which contained 21,000 food baskets, 5,000 tents, and 5,000 personal hygiene kits aiming to benefit 35,000 individuals.

Ireland announced an initial commitment of 500,000 euros of Irish Aid support to Pakistan. The funds will be allocated to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Concern Worldwide. The IFRC through their local partner will provide emergency shelter, unconditional cash grants to the worst affected and primary healthcare with a specific focus on the special health needs of women and children.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesperson said that a first flight from the UAE carrying relief items landed on Tuesday afternoon at Noor Khan Air Base in Rawalpindi. The relief assistance includes food items, medical supplies and tents for the flood victims. Another flight carrying assistance was also expected to land in Rawalpindi by the evening.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2022

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