About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as a Spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The United States is providing the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (KPk) in Pakistan with pre-fabricated bridging material to build eight new bridges to replace those destroyed by the recent monsoon floods. When built, these light easily transportable bridges will support heavy vehicle traffic and greatly assist the people of KPk to rebuild their communities and livelihoods.
At a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday, December 1, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, accompanied by Brigadier General Michael Nagata, Deputy Commander, Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan, presented General (Ret.) Nadeem Ahmed, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), with a plaque signifying the friendship between the people of the United States and Pakistan. Similar plaques will be placed on each of the bridges.
The U.S. government previously provided 12 pre-fabricated bridges to the NDMA during the early days of flood relief.
"Pakistan is an important strategic partner of the United States," Ambassador Munter said during his remarks. "We are joined by common values and interests -- and by our common humanity. We provide aid to Pakistan not only because we value our relationship, but because it is the right thing to do."
General Nadeem stressed the fact that the United States was the first country to come to the aid of Pakistan with substantial funds, and not for the first time. He said, "The impact of relief assistance on the lives of the people here has been phenomenal."
The U.S. government is providing more than a half a billion dollars for flood relief and recovery efforts. Also, to date, U.S. aircraft have evacuated more than 40,000 people and delivered more than 26 million pounds (nearly 12 million kilograms) of relief supplies.
You can learn more about Pakistan flood disaster relief here.