Rawalpindi, 9 September 2022 (TDI): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, Samantha Power, called on the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Head Quarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. Power is on a high-level visit to Pakistan to assess the extent of damage caused by the unrelenting rains and flash floods.

Highlights from the meeting

The USAID Administrator discussed issues of mutual interest with the COAS of Pakistan. On the agenda was a prospective collaboration between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and Pakistan on the humanitarian response to floods in Pakistan.

The Administrator also expressed grief over the devastation caused by ongoing floods in Pakistan. She also offered sincere condolence to the families of the flood victims.

Additionally, she appreciated the response of Pakistan’s army towards assisting the civil administration and leadership in addressing the flood crisis. In this line, she also appreciated the Pakistan army’s population rescue missions and relief efforts in areas hit by recent floods.

The COAS of Pakistan expressed gratitude to the USA, USAID, and the United States DoD for their support. He also reiterated that the assistance of Pakistan’s global partners is essential in assisting the calamity-hit people of Pakistan.

US assistance to Pakistan

With regards to flash floods in Pakistan, the US has annou­nced an additional $20m in humanitarian assistance to support the people af­­fected by floods resulting from he­­avy monsoon rains.

Additionally, a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has also been deployed by the US to lead Wash­i­n­gton’s response efforts in the flood-affected regions of Pakistan.

This team comprising disaster experts has assessed the damage, identified priority needs, and coordinated closely with Islamabad and humanitarian partners to ensure effective and efficient assistance delivery.

Moreover, as per the USAID administrator, the US intends to utilize its Department of Defense (DoD) for relief work. Earlier this week, Michael Kurilla, commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), spoke to Pakistan COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa and expressed condolences over the catastrophic floods.

CENTCOM has since then sent an assessment team to Islamabad to determine the potential support the US DoD could provide to USAID in assisting the crisis in Pakistan.