Fact Sheet:Update on U.S. Response to Pakistan's Flooding DisasterAbout the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
During the past few days, the United States has been rushing humanitarian assistance to Pakistanis in urgent need of food, shelter and medical supplies in partnership with established organizations with substantial field experience.
Drawing on funds from the $35 million provided by the United States to date, as well as $7.5 million in funds already designated to help people in the affected areas, relief supplies are being actively distributed to communities in need across the country. The U.S. has also deployed additional personnel work with national and provincial disaster management officials and coordinate U.S. relief efforts.
"Americans expect their government to help people in dire need," said Ambassador Anne W. Patterson today, "and we are doing just that. We will be doing all we can to support the Pakistan government's relief efforts in the weeks ahead."
About 50 percent of the food provided to flood-affected families is being provided by the United States through the World Food Program (WFP). Food is being delivered through 19 established distribution points in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa (KPk), while accessing other remote areas by helicopter. Since August 2, WFP has delivered food to more than 296,000 people in KPk, reaching between 35,000 and 49,000 people per day.
The United States has provided an additional $2 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to assist as many as 70,000 people in Kpk and Baluchistan provinces with the materials to construct emergency shelters as well blankets, water containers and kitchen sets. The IOM has already begun distributing supplies to families in KPk through pre-existing distribution points in Charsadda, as well as to refugee families gathering alongside roads.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has received an additional $3 million in assistance for their programs from the United States to prevent waterborne diseases countrywide by providing safe drinking water to more than 360,000 people in KPk, Sindh, Baluchistan, and Punjab provinces. In areas where ground water sources are contaminated, UNICEF will provide clean water with tanker trucks, distribute chlorine tablets, and restore damaged wells.
An additional $2 million was provided to the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to support local health facilities and expand communicable disease surveillance (known as the Disease Early Warning System). By working with medical facilities throughout Pakistan, WHO is prepositioning medicine and training health professionals to react quickly to localized disease outbreaks in an effort to prevent its spread to other populations. During 2009, WHO-DEWS was successful in preventing major outbreaks of cholera and other communicable diseases among displaced families living in camps.