Islamabad: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Monday welcomed the United States’ generous new contribution of US $2 million in humanitarian assistance for flood response efforts in Pakistan. This funding will be channelled to areas affected by the monsoon flooding, supporting life-saving activities as well as helping to rebuild community infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and shelters.
The announcement comes as the people of Pakistan continue to grapple with the effects of extreme weather due to climate change, with torrential monsoon rains and floods displacing more than 33 million people and causing widespread destruction, damage, and over 1,400 fatalities. Some 81 districts across the country have been affected, over half of which host Afghan refugees.
The United States’ contribution demonstrates a continued commitment to solidarity and responsibility sharing with Pakistan, among the world’s largest hosts of refugees.
“We are pleased to announce two million dollars in humanitarian assistance to support UNHCR’s flood response, providing lifesaving items to flood-affected Pakistanis and Afghan refugees in three provinces and helping to rebuild communities,” noted US Ambassador Donald Blome.
The additional funding from the United States comes on top of the existing US contribution of $33 million for UNHCR’s planned programmes in 2022, aimed at strengthening livelihoods, boosting the capacity of national education and health facilities in refugee-hosting communities, and supporting the pursuit of solutions for refugees.
In response to flooding, UNHCR is on the ground distributing life-saving support in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan provinces for Afghan refugees and their host communities, while also rushing relief, including emergency shelter, hygiene items, mosquito nets, solar lanterns and blankets, to flood hit areas in southern Sindh province.
“As relief arrives in country, the focus has to remain on getting assistance out to affected communities as fast as possible,” noted UNHCR Representative to Pakistan, Noriko Yoshida. “For decades, the United States has steadfastly supported UNHCR’s work in Pakistan, and this contribution further bolsters our emergency response efforts.”
Pakistan and its people have hosted millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades, with some 1.3 million currently registered in the country.