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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday apprised the Administrator of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power about the government of Pakistan’s “very transparent mechanism” to ensure that international financial assistance was efficiently and transparently disbursed.

The visiting Administrator of USAID called on Bilawal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to a statement of the Foreign Office, the foreign minister appreciated Power’s visit to Pakistan at this difficult hour when unprecedented rains had caused the most severe floods in Pakistan’s history. The foreign minister also welcomed US support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

He said that the ravaging floods had washed away entire villages affecting over 33 million people; death toll stood at 1,300; four million acres of crops were destroyed; 800,000 livestock had been lost, and billions of dollars have been lost in critical infrastructure.

The foreign minister underscored that Pakistan was among the most severely-affected countries due to climate change, especially with less than one percent carbon footprint. He underscored that despite the government’s full engagement with rescue and relief efforts, continued international support, solidarity, and assistance were required to respond to the devastating impact of this disaster.

The foreign minister looked forward to Pakistan and the US building extensive engagement on climate change and on tools of climate resilience. He stressed that the developed countries must step up their climate ambition, including towards the provision of predictable climate finance for mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change in the developing world.

He called for greater climate justice and hoped that the developed countries will take all those measures that would support developing countries deal with the worst impacts of climate change.

The foreign minister thanked USAID for providing financial assistance in the wake of the floods and hoped that having witnessed the first-hand account of the devastation faced by the flood-affected population, USAID Administrator Power would mobilise the international community to come forward and support Pakistan in such trying times.

He also underlined that the government of Pakistan had instituted a very transparent mechanism to ensure that international financial assistance was efficiently and transparently disbursed.

While expressing condolences and sympathies with the flood-affected people, the USAID Administrator affirmed that the US Administration would extend its full support to Pakistan to help mitigate the disastrous impacts of these floods.

The USAID Administrator is visiting Pakistan in the wake of the catastrophic floods.

Earlier in the day, she also received the US flight loaded with relief assistance at Noor Khan Air Base along with US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome, Commander the US Naval Forces Central Command Brad Cooper, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NDMA.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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