USAID announces additional $30m for Pakistan flood recovery

UN calls on developed countries to provide more support to South Asian country

A girl sits on a cot as she crosses a flooded street in the Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, Pakistan. AFP
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The US has announced an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to support people affected by devastating climate change-linked flooding in Pakistan.

The funding will come through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and brings the total Washington assistance towards Pakistan's recovery to $97m.

“To fly over the devastation was to witness a sunken world. Three hundred kilometres from the nearest ocean, we saw mainly water, punctuated intermittently by the tops of the tallest trees,” Samantha Power, administrator of USAID, said in a statement on Thursday.

“For those who survived, unimaginable challenges still lie ahead. Although the water is receding, the damage remains vast.”

Torrential monsoon rains this year triggered the most severe flooding in Pakistan’s recent history, affecting nearly one third of the country. The rains washed away villages, killing about 1,730 people in the immediate flooding and injuring 12,900.

The UN children's agency estimated that the devastation also left 10 million children in need of immediate support, citing increased risk of waterborne diseases, drowning and malnutrition.

Chris Kaye, World Food Programme country director for Pakistan, said on Thursday that developed countries need to show more solidarity with the country, where floods linked to climate change have devastated the lives of tens of millions of people.

“It is extraordinary to have so many climate change events that are extreme all happening in the same year. It is super scary,” said Mr Kaye.

The UN issued an appeal for more than $800m to help families affected by an emerging public health emergency due to the damage to healthcare facilities.

USAID is also ramping up efforts to prepare Ukraine for winter conditions as Russia's war there barrels on, its administrator Ms Power said on Wednesday.

“Winter is going to be really tough and I think that's our collective focus now. With the attacks on electricity, with the loss of potential heating, the loss of electricity, power, we're looking at supporting as many repairs as quickly as possible, and looking, of course, to other donors to chip in as well,” Ms Power told CNN in a Wednesday night interview.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets Samantha Power in Kyiv in October. EPA

More than 1.4 million Ukrainian households lost electricity this week after repeated Russian air raids, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office has said.

Energy officials in Ukraine have encouraged citizens to ration their electricity use, and announced emergency and planned cuts on October 20 amid Russia's continued military assault.

Russian attacks have damaged at least one third of the country's energy infrastructure, a post on Ukraine's official Twitter account said.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 2:39 PM