How the U.S. is helping Pakistan overcome severe floods

The United States and partner organizations continue to provide support for Pakistan’s recovery from disastrous floods that have affected 33 million people.

The U.S. government has provided more than $56 million in flood relief and humanitarian assistance for Pakistan this year. More than $50 million of the assistance has come through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The State Department provided an additional $2 million to support the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ response effort in Pakistan, and $1.4 million in Defense Department funding helped airlift supplies.

The funding helps provide food, drinking water, nutrition, sanitation, shelter assistance and other aid to the country, where heavy monsoon rains have caused flooding, landslides and glacial lake outbursts. Nearly 1,600 people have been killed and an estimated 12,900 injured, USAID said.

Aerial view of flooded land in Pakistan (USAID)
U.S. and Pakistani officials conducted aerial assessments of the most affected areas to plan their humanitarian response. (USAID)

“We’ll continue to provide assistance to our partners in this time of need,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said September 13, noting that U.S. and Pakistani officials have been working together to assess the damage.

A USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team and Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority have worked together to assess damage and identify priority humanitarian needs.

U.S., partners provide assistance

U.S. assistance supports partners’ efforts to reduce hunger and disease risk after floods destroyed 1.8 million hectares of cropland and damaged sanitation systems.

USAID supports the U.N. World Food Programme’s distribution of food and cash assistance to buy food for approximately 341,500 people across Pakistan. The effort brings wheat, yellow split peas, vegetable oil, iodized salt and supplies to treat and prevent malnutrition.

USAID partner organization Concern Worldwide, headquartered in Dublin, is providing safe drinking water, hygiene items and water removal services for 283,000 people. “Concern is also providing shelter repair kits, tools, kitchen sets and plastic sheeting to help people whose houses have been damaged or destroyed,” USAID says.

Men in camouflage uniforms pushing pallet off of cargo plane (U.S. Air Force/Sgt. Charles T. Fultz)
U.S. military personnel at Pakistan Air Force Base Nur Khan deliver critical supplies September 9 for a USAID-led humanitarian mission. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Charles T. Fultz)

To deliver assistance quickly, USAID asked that the Defense Department airlift supplies to hard-hit areas. U.S. Air Force cargo planes delivered nearly 630 metric tons of relief supplies from USAID’s warehouse in Dubai to Pakistan, completing the mission September 16.

U.S. government–built schools have served as shelters for displaced people after floods damaged or destroyed more than 2 million homes.

“The United States is deeply saddened for the flood victims and the loss of loved ones, livelihoods, and homes throughout Pakistan,” USAID said in a September 9 statement. “We stand with communities in Pakistan during this difficult time and will continue to help them in this time of need.”