US delegation meets Sherry Rehman, vows help to flood-hit people

Staff Writer

Islamabad: A five-member US delegation led by Congress Representative Sheila Jackson Lee this week met Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and vowed to help flood-affected people of Pakistan.

Sherry Rehman apprised them of the current relief efforts and the assistance required for rehabilitation of the flood affected areas and population.

The delegation expressed solidarity with the people of Pakistan and great concern on the devastation wreaked by the ‘Monster Monsoon’, promising full support to Pakistan in these trying times.

Speaking on the occasion, Sherry Rehman said that the devastation on ground was much more than the country encountered in the 2010 floods. “This time, however, we are unable to find dry ground to land our helicopter sorties providing relief,” she added.

“Despite relief efforts from the government, NDMA, PDMAs and Pak Army, we are under-resourced,” the minister said, adding: “We have appealed to our bilateral and multilateral partners in this time of need.”

While talking about the imminent health crisis, the Minister remarked, “There are far-reaching impacts of these floods which have unleashed on Pakistan for 9 weeks now. The situation on the ground is still worrying in terms of relief and rescue.”

“It is a national emergency. We are now heading towards a health emergency due to water-borne diseases. We need urgent relief funds to deal with this emerging crisis. We really appreciate US assistance and support in this moment of great crisis,” she added.

The US Congressional Delegation expressed condolences and deepest regret on the loss of lives and commitment to helping Pakistan in these trying times and advocate for funding in the US.

It is pertinent to mention here that another 24 people lost their lives in flash floods caused by torrential downpours across Pakistan over the past 24 hours, pushing the overall toll to over 1314.

According to a report issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the majority of the deaths were reported in Pakistan’s Sindh province, where hundreds of thousands of people have been stranded by floods triggered by heavy rains.