Congresswoman Jackson-Lee, Rep. Suozzi, visit flood-ravaged areas in Pakistan

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Men walk along a flooded road with their belongings, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Suhbatpur, Pakistan August 28, 2022. REUTERS/Amer Hussain

Islamabad: Amid Pakistan’s flood fury, a five-member delegation from the United States, headed by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022, visited flood-hit areas to review the rescue and rehabilitation efforts, media reports said.

The delegation, which also included Congressman Tom Suozzi, D-NY, and the US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, visited the Dadu district in Sindh province and reviewed the flood situation on the ground and during an aerial view of the area, reported the country’s local media outlet ARY News. Major General Dilawar Khan, Brigadier Hasnat Ahmed and Deputy Commissioner Dadu Syed Murtaza Ali Shah briefed the delegation on the rescue operations in the area and losses from the floods.

The US congresswoman also met flood victims and distributed gifts among them.

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Before departing for the country, Jackson said in a press conference that they would visit flood-damaged areas and will take “all possible steps” to help the flood victims.

Taking to Twitter, she said, “The flooding devastation in Pakistan is catastrophic with over 30 million people impacted. It’s urgent that the United States offers to help with possible airlifts of food and necessities to isolated and starving people.”

“We can’t wait, more people will die. As chair of the Pakistan caucus, the Caucus will work with our colleagues to push for major continuing aid. Now is the time for relief,” Jackson added.

Meanwhile, the Commander of US Central Command General Michael Erik Kurilla expressed grief over the fatalities and the losses inflicted by the catastrophic floods.

Notably, the United States on Tuesday, Aug. 30, announced an additional $30 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to support people and communities affected by severe flooding in Pakistan.

The US embassy in Pakistan said this support will save lives and reduce suffering among the most vulnerable affected communities. According to the statement, the United States will continue to monitor the crisis in coordination with local partners and Pakistani authorities.

In addition to the $30 million in urgently needed humanitarian assistance, the United States also provided over $1.1 million in grants and project support earlier this month to ensure direct assistance reaches those communities most impacted and to help mitigate and prevent the effects of future floods.

According to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA), more than one-third of Pakistan is underwater amid its worst floods in history.

As deadly floodwaters threaten to create secondary disasters, food is in short supply after water covered millions of acres of crops and wiped out hundreds of thousands of livestock.

More than 1,100 people have died from the floods since mid-June, nearly 400 of them children, while millions have been displaced, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

More than 33 million people have been affected, or about 15 per cent of the population, according to Pakistan’s climate change minister Sherry Rehman. More than 1 million homes have been damaged or destroyed, while at least 5,000 kilometres of roads have been damaged, according to the NDMA.

Floods have impacted 2 million acres of crops and killed more than 794,000 heads of livestock across Pakistan, according to a situation report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

More than 800 health facilities have been damaged in the country, of which 180 are completely damaged, leaving millions of people lacking access to health care and medical treatment, as reported in many affected districts, according to WHO.

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