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US announces USD 100 million humanitarian aid to Pakistan

May 19, 2009 23:18 IST

The United States on Tuesday announced a US $ 100 million humanitarian to Pakistan to counter the appeal of the Taliban among the nearly 2 million civilians displaced by the military operations against the militants in the Swat Valley and adjoining areas.

The assistance is in addition to the US $ 60 million, already provided by the US for the Swat refugees, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while announcing the US humanitarian assistance to Pakistan at the White House. Clinton said the US would try and buy from local Pakistani producers as part of the assistance, which would additionally help the people. Pakistan has had a bumper crop this year. The Pakistani military has been conducting major operations in Swat Valley to crush the Islamic militants who last month controlled areas just 100 km from Islamabad.

"I am announcing that the people of the United States are responding to a request for assistance, from the government of Pakistan, with more than USD 100 million in humanitarian support," Clinton told media-persons. "This money comes on top of almost USD 60 million that the United States has provided since last August to help Pakistanis who have been affected by the conflicts and in addition to the other funding for Pakistan that we are already seeking from the Congress," she said.

Clinton said providing this assistance is not only the right thing to do, but the Obama Administration believes that it is essential to global security and the security of the United States. "We are prepared to do more as the situation demands," she said. A US disaster-assistance response team and embassy personnel from the US embassy in Islamabad are on the ground working with and supporting Pakistani authorities in evaluating needs for shelter, food, health, water and sanitation services.

"Supplies from the US are already flowing to Pakistan. USAID's office of foreign disaster assistance has delivered 30,000 family relief kits, 5,000 tents, FM radios, and generators to provide both light and water," Clinton said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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