Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton on Wednesday made a personal appeal to her fellow Americans
to come forward and donate generously for the flood relief
works in Pakistan.
Clinton, who made her first public appearance after
the marriage of daughter Chelsea last week, picked up her
phone and displayed to television crews at Foggy Bottom
headquarters that she had herself made her personal donation
for the cause minutes ago.
Terming it as one if the worst ever flood in Pakistan
in the last 80 years, that has effected some three million
people nationwide with an estimated 1,500 people losing their
lives, Clinton said people of Pakistan has the capacity to
overcome this challenge and swiftly rebuild their lives.
"They can look to the United States for our support,"
The United States has immediately committed USD 10
million in aid to Pakistan, she said, adding relief experts
have been deployed to the field, helicopters have airlifted
hundreds of people out of danger and delivered critical
supplies in the country.
"This represents just the start of our efforts; we
would continue to help Pakistan in the days and the weeks
ahead," Clinton said, adding that much of the response is
coordinated by United States Agency for International
The US has been working hard over the past year to
build partnership with the people of Pakistan, she said.
"This is an essential element of that partnership ?
reaching out and helping each other in times of need."
Taking out her phone from her pocket and displaying it
before the television cameras, Clinton said: "Americans can
contribute to this relief effort. Using your cell phone, you
can text word SWAT to the number 50555. And you will make a
USD 10 contribution that would help the UN High Commissioner
for Refugees that provides tents, clothing, food, clean
drinking water and medicine to people displaced by flood."
Speaking on the occasion, USAID administrator Rajiv
Shah gave details of the massive efforts being co-ordinated by
the US aid agency towards the flood relief work.
Responding to a question, Shah asserted that America`s
commitment to Pakistan is long term and enduring.
The flood relief work is one way to express American
commitment to Pakistan and its people, he said.
"We will not stop with immediate relief," Shah said,
adding the relief assistance would continue beyond just saving
and rescuing people.
"Our effort is large-scale and comprehensive and is
being coordinated with Gen Nadeem (of Pakistan)."
Shah said the US is also coordinating with the UN and
a broad range of NGOs. "We believe that we are fuelling the
major part of this response."
The US warehouse in Dubai, that stocks a lot of
medical commodities, is being used to send health supplies to
Pakistan, he added.