Biden calls Pak PM to discuss flood relief efforts

Floods that swept Pakistan over 6 weeks ago affected over 20 million people.

Washington: US Vice President Joe Biden in a telephonic call with Pakistan`s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani discussed the flood relief efforts.

In a statement, the White House said Biden spoke to Gilani yesterday to reiterate US support to Pakistan during the current flood crisis.

"Vice President Biden underlined that the United States is standing by Pakistan during this challenging time," the statement said.

During the telephonic conversation, Biden noted that the US has provided around USD 260 million in emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Pakistan to date.

It has also provided other civilian and military assistance in the form of halal meals, pre-fabricated steel bridges and other infrastructure support.

The US is now using 25 helicopters, two C-17s, and five C-130s to transport relief supplies. It has already delivered more than GBP 4.6 million of supplies and transported more than 13,000 people to safety.

"While we continue our immediate flood relief, Vice President Biden highlighted that we are also pursuing a full-fledged diplomatic effort to encourage additional international resources to help Pakistan rebuild," the White House said.

The two leaders discussed ongoing co-ordination as Pakistan transitions from relief to recovery efforts, the statement said.

Unprecedented floods that swept the country more than six weeks ago affected over 20 million people.