Holbrooke to visit Pakistan this week

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 12:03

Washington: US special envoy for Pakistan
and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke would be in Pakistan this
week to have a first-hand assessment of the flood relief
operations in the country, where more than 20 million people
have been affected by the worst-ever floods.

During his trip, Holbrooke would visit camps, where
the displaced people are lodged, and see for himself the
situation there.

He will asses "what the most critical needs on the
ground are as the US begins to help Pakistan with the
transition from immediate relief to recovery and
reconstruction," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

He said the central focus of Holbrooke`s trip will be
to find how America needs to adapt its approach to Pakistan
and support it in light of this "devastating disaster".

This will be Holbrooke`s first trip to the region
after the devastating flood hit Pakistan and the special envoy
has no plans to visit Afghanistan this time, he said.

The United States so far has provided USD 261 million
to assist with relief and recovery efforts, which does not
include considerable in-kind and technical assistance
specifically to address the impact of these floods.

This includes approximately USD 211 million to support
immediate relief efforts in Pakistan, through many local and
international organisations, the Pakistan National Disaster
Management Authority, and the UN’s emergency response plan.

An additional USD 50 million has also been allotted
for initial recovery efforts to assist with rebuilding
communities impacted by the floods.

The US also has provided civilian and military
in-kind assistance in the form of halal meals, pre-fabricated
steel bridges and other infrastructure support, as well as air
support to and within Pakistan to transport goods and rescue
people at an approximate value of USD 40 million.

To date, these aircraft have evacuated more than
13,000 people and delivered 5.4 million pounds of relief
supplies.

The US is also expanding pre-existing programs in
flood-affected areas.

At the same time, US military C-130 and C-17 cargo
aircraft continue to provide airlift support to Pakistan,
delivering relief supplies to multiple locations throughout
the country, including Skardu, Sukkur, Quetta, Jacobabad,
Sharea Faisal and Gilgit.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 12:03

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