U.S. grants $190 million aid for Pakistani flood victims


ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Pakistani Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, on Monday announced that the United States granted $190 million in aid for the victims of last year’s devastating floods, state-run media reported.

The announcement was made following a meeting between Pakistani officials and a U.S. delegation led by Thomas Nides, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and Cameron Munter, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.

“When terrible floods hit your nation last summer, the United States was the first country to provide aid,” said Nides, as cited by APP. “Today, I am pleased to announce that we have fulfilled a commitment we made to the Pakistani people. We have transferred $190 million we pledged last year to the Citizen’s Damage Compensation Program.”

The additional $190 million aid package will add to the $2 billion previously provided by the United States to help relief efforts following the devastating floods which began in July 2010 and continued for several months.

“We have set priorities in consultations with the U.S. government,” said Shaikh. “We will use this amount for the benefit of the affected people during the last year’s devastating floods. Pakistan greatly appreciates the U.S. aid.”

The floods in Pakistan last year began after heavy monsoon rains. More than 2,000 people were killed and around 21 million others were affected, according to the Pakistani government. Many people lost all their belongings and are in need of assistance.

The newly granted amount will be used to aid an estimated one million Pakistani families, APP said. The aid will help rebuilding homes and improving the livelihoods of the affected children, women and men.

Also on Monday, the U.S. delegation and its Pakistani counterpart discussed extending the bilateral relations between the two countries, mostly in trade. Pakistan’s exports reached $24 billion during the outgoing financial year.

“We held productive negotiations with the US delegation on the promotion of bilateral relations,” said Minister Shaikh. “Pakistan is keen to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of power projects, health, education, agriculture and services sectors.”

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