Obama announces $ 33 million aid for Pak flood

President Barack Obama has authorized provision of $ 33 million to help alleviate sufferings of Pakistanis displaced by the unprecedented flooding that has pushed millions out of their homes.

The money will come from the the United States Emergency Refugees and Migration Assistance Fund.

Obama issued a memorandum to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to furnish assistance for the “unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs” resulting from the raging monsoon floods, which have submerged one fifth of Pakistan’s land (around 150,000 sq km).

With the addition of $ 33 million, the United States has now committed a total of $ 233 million to help Pakistan deal with the epic humanitarian catastrophe, which has affected around 21 million people and severely damaged local agrarian economies.

The total U.S. assistance so far includes $ 150 million for relief and rescue operations while $ 50 million – drawn from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman aid package – are to be used to assist early recovery effort.

In the memorandum President Obama determined “it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the (relevant) Act in an amount not to exceed $33 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and payment of administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State, related to humanitarian needs resulting from recent devastating flooding in Pakistan.”

Washington has also provided helicopters which, in coordination with Pakistan army, have been carrying out life-saving missions in swamped areas.