US to direct USD 500 mln to help Pak recover from floods

US will direct one third of funds, about USD 500 million to Pakistan for the reconstruction and rehabilitation areas affected in the country`s worst ever flood.

Washington: US will direct one third of
funds, about USD 500 million, under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman
(KLB) Act to Pakistan for the reconstruction and
rehabilitation areas affected in the country`s worst ever
flood.

"I am pleased. The US will commit USD 500 million of the
first year of Kerry-Lugar-Berman funds- one third of our
civilian assistance budget for Pakistan - to benefit flood
victims during the critical recovery and reconstruction
process," Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the powerful Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, said.

"As I saw firsthand during my visit to flood-affected
areas in August, Pakistan has suffered its worst natural
disaster in modern history. The danger of the floods extends
beyond a very real humanitarian crisis, with long-lasting
consequences for the country and the region," Kerry said.

The Senator termed KLB aid package as a "cornerstone" and
said Obama administration has made a long-term commitment to
stand by the people of Pakistan as they overcome the
political, economic and security challenges.

"To be effective, we have to act decisively to help
support the immediate needs of the Pakistani people in line
with their own priorities."

The Senator applauded the Obama administration for
seizing the initiative and appealed to it to be bold and
creative in responding to the needs on the ground. "This
funding is in addition to the USD 500 million already provided
by the United States for Pakistan flood relief," he said.

Kerry wrote the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act,
also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act, which authorized
tripling non-military aid to Pakistan.

Kerry and Lugar also wrote legislation creating the
Pakistani-American Enterprise Fund, which passed the Committee
in September 2010 and if passed by Congress would help
strengthen the private sector in Pakistan using existing KLB
funds.

The Senator has visited Pakistan four times since
becoming chairman and was the first member of Congress to
visit Pakistan in August 2010 after the flooding that
devastated the country this year.

PTI

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