Washington: The White House has expressed grief over the tragic loss of lives and devastation caused by severe flooding in Pakistan.
Floods triggered by unprecedented monsoon rains have caused widespread havoc across Pakistan, killing over 1,100 people and displacing 33 million or one-seventh of the country’s population.
“We are saddened by the tragic loss of life and destruction as a result of the severe flooding in Pakistan. We send our deepest condolences to all the individuals and families impacted. The United States stands with communities in Pakistan as they experience severe flooding and landslides,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference here on Wednesday.
“Yesterday, USAID announced it is providing an additional USD30 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by the severe flooding. With these funds, USAID partners will prioritise urgently needed support for food, nutrition, safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and shelter assistance,” she said.
A USAID disaster management specialist is also in Islamabad to assess the impact of the floods and to determine additional humanitarian assistance that the US government might provide, Jean-Pierre noted.
“The United States has and will continue to be a strong supporter of the people of Pakistan. We are the single-largest humanitarian donor to Pakistan, having provided over USD33 million in humanitarian assistance. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Pakistan for further needs following this horrific tragedy,” Jean-Pierre said.
Meanwhile, US lawmakers continued to urge the administration to send more humanitarian assistance to Pakistan.
Senator Chris Murphy, Chair of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, on Wednesday said the scenes coming out of Pakistan were heartbreaking.
He added that he was glad to see the administration working quickly to deliver humanitarian aid.
“The severe monsoon season this year has brought unprecedented flooding and subsequently devastating losses. Far too often those who are the least responsible and have the fewest resources face the greatest impacts of the climate crisis. I’ll continue monitoring this crisis and urge the administration to continue providing aid to ensure the people of Pakistan get the support they need,” Murphy said.
“Along with our thoughts and prayers to Pakistan, the US must send tangible aid for flood victims. What we are witnessing are the deadly effects of climate change extending beyond the borders of top CO2 emission-producing nations. Together, we must do more to save our planet,” Congressman Al Green said.
“My heart breaks for the millions displaced and injured in Pakistan. Among the 10 countries most effected by the climate crisis, Pakistan contributes 0.4 per cent of global CO2 emissions. As a top contributor, our inaction yields deadly consequences. We must take more climate action now,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush.
“Pakistan and the Global South contribute very little to global greenhouse gas emissions. It is crucial that we as a global community act to help them recover and build climate resilient infrastructure,” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said.