Asserting that there is no role for politics in disaster response,
the Obama Administration has said it expects Pakistan to accept the
USD 5 million aid offer from India for its flood relief work.
"In terms of responding to a disaster, politics should play no role.
You have a country (India) that's willing to help (Pakistan), and...
we expect that Pakistan will accept," State Department spokesman P J
Last week, Minister of External Affairs S M Krishna had called on
his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi and offered USD 5
million in aid for flood relief work.
Pakistan, so far, had not accepted the offer while at the same time
its leaders have been sending SOS to the international community for
more and more aid so as to meet the immediate needs of its millions
of flood-affected people.
Nearly one-fifth of Pakistan is now reported to be badly hit by the
devastating flood; the worst for the country in 80 years.
Crowley, given the changed circumstance, said the US has began to
think about what it would do with that long-term security assistance
provided under Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill and that could require the US
shifting it from what it thought was a priority three weeks ago to
what is a priority today.
"I think what we'll have to wait and see is what are the mid- to
long-term economic needs of Pakistan that we could use that funding
to address. I guess we would also consider more immediate needs as
they arise," he said.
Frank Ruggiero, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and
Pakistan also asked Pakistan to accept India's aid.
"I think the priority is to use offers of assistance to help the
Pakistani people, so we would encourage Government of Pakistan to
accept that (Indian) offer," he said.
Ruggiero said that the US would continue to call on the
international community to provide the people of Pakistan with the
support it needs at this dire time, as the scale of this flood was
Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Minister has arrived in New York to
attend the special meeting of UN General Assembly on the flood
relief work, where he is expected to ask the member states to help
Pakistan with more international aid.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would also address the
UNGA's special session on Pakistan.
She is expected to announce more US aid for Pakistan.
The US so far has provided USD 90 million worth of aid.
Mark Ward, Acting Director for USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance said Pakistan floods was one of the greatest challenges -
as 17 million Pakistani people were affected; six million of those
needing urgent attention.
Acknowledging that donor fatigue was an issue and has reflected in
the international response to the disaster assistance for the flood
relief work, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz said "but I
think it's not an issue for the US. I think other governments around
the world continue to make relief response a very high priority."
"The international community will need to provide even more
additional assistance, that the need is extreme at this point, and
that the international community and the United States will have to
provide support to the Pakistani Government to deal with it," said