US responds to alleged corruption in Pakistan flood relief: ‘We take this very seriously’


Washington: Amid reports of massive corruption and looting of US relief aid in Pakistan, Washington said on Tuesday that this is something that is being taken very seriously, not just in Pakistan but everywhere in the world that involves US taxpayers’ money.

“This is something that we take very seriously, not just in Pakistan but all over the world where US taxpayers are involved and when there is an urgent humanitarian interest at stake, which is clearly the case, in terms of the response to the floods. in Pakistan,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, while answering a question about reports of corruption in Pakistan in U.S. relief supplies.

Also Read:Pakistan seeks help from India to fight mosquito-borne diseases after massive floods

Price noted that USAID partners are working with local organizations that have extensive knowledge about the affected areas and their populations.

“We are also required to provide regular program updates on the progress of operations and any security vulnerabilities, and we require them – our partners – to immediately report any potential redirects, seizures or losses, so this is something we take very seriously .”

Speaking about the steps taken to monitor and ensure adequate tracking mechanisms are in place in this context, Price said: “First, USAID personnel – they make regular trips to monitor our programs in the field. We have a so-called DART – a Disaster Relief Response Team – and their members travel to more than 10 flood-affected districts in Balochistan, Sindh province.”

“They did that between — about the middle of last month, that is, between September 14 and September 27 — to assess not only the humanitarian conditions, but also response activities and to make sure those response activities were meeting the humanitarian need.”

The US has provided nearly $56.5 million in flood relief and humanitarian aid to Pakistan this year, as well as an additional $10 million in food security, according to the State Department.

Pakistan has seen massive floods that have wreaked havoc in the country, leading to major loss of life and infrastructure. As of September 30, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recorded nearly 1,700 deaths and more than 12,800 injuries since mid-June. The highest death rates were recorded in Sindh (747), Balochistan (325) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (307).

According to reports from the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities (PDMA) of the affected provinces, more than 2 million homes have been damaged or destroyed and about 7.9 million people are said to have been displaced, including about 598,000 people living in relief camps.

Estimates indicate that more than 7,000 schools are currently being used to house displaced populations, while an estimated 25,100 schools have been damaged.





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