Financial assistance for flood victims


Many high-level US officials have been visiting Pakistan and expressing solidarity with the flood affected people and announcing financial assistance for the flood victims. In the past, the United States played a vital role in minimizing Indo-Pak tensions and also offered to mediate in resolving the Kashmir issue. The United States has always urged Pakistan and India to resolve all bilateral issues through dialogue. Pak-US relations have witnessed ups and downs over the years but the fact is that both the countries are important to each other. Pakistan has an important geographical location in the perspective of Afghanistan that the United States can never ignore. Pakistan wants equally good relations with Beijing and Washington and does not want to be part of any particular camp. Both the countries developed some disagreements over Afghanistan in the past, but now seem eager to cooperate on the bilateral issues.
This is a very positive development that Biden administration is nurturing good relations with Pakistan. The statement of Chairman of US Foreign Relations Committee will pave way to help Pakistan that has been grappling with serious flood situation. Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee described that $53 million U.S. aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan as a “drop in the bucket”, has called for doing much more for the relief of an estimated 30 million displaced Pakistani people. “We need to stand together with Pakistan,” he added. Senator Menendez expressed condolences over the heavy loss of life resulting from the climate-induced floods. “We have to get a disaster relief package for Pakistan from the US Congress and organize an international donors conference for the flood victims in Pakistan”, Senator Menendez said. “I am willing to work with anyone in the US Congress who is willing to work with us to help Pakistan”, he said.
The real challenge lies ahead as we enter into the phase of bringing life back to the flood-affected areas, rebuilding roads, repairing and restoring infrastructure, generate, cultivate crop land and construct houses, schools and hospitals and this was a Herculean task for which Pakistan would need continued U.S. support on multi-year basis. It is laudable the role of Pakistani-American community in raising donations as our diaspora community has always stood up in times of need and have always given back to Pakistan. The biggest challenge would be in the recovery and relief phase and we should continue to support the flood victims in Pakistan.
Pakistan has been suffering the brunt of climate change despite no contribution in global greenhouse emissions. Pakistan is among the ten most vulnerable countries that are at an enhanced risk of natural calamities due to changing climate patterns. Therefore, it is moral obligation of advanced countries to help the developing world cope with such situations. The assistance we receive should also include technical expertise in this regard for future precautions. Relations with US can be further improved. However, the US needs to take serious action to walk the talk. The UN Secretary General pointed out the devastating situation in Pakistan very seriously. However, the US relief support has been weaker than many other nations. In contrast, many other countries provided aid more than the US.