The United States has promised Pakistan that it will continue to support Islamabad’s efforts to reform its economy and help mitigate the consequences of last year’s devastating floods. At a Monday afternoon news conference, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price also urged Pakistan to continue with the economic reforms it had promised to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The spokesman, however, indicated that the US support to Islamabad was “not conditional”. When asked if this aid to Pakistan was contingent on the constancy of economic reforms, Price said: “This is ultimately a decision for the IMF, (but) we of course want to see Pakistan continue down the path of reform.”
Ned Price also announced an additional $100 million of aid to Pakistan for recovery and reconstruction funding. This brings the total US contribution towards Pakistan’s flood relief funds to over $200 million. The US funding also includes humanitarian assistance to sustain flood relief and recovery efforts in areas where refugees are housed.
On Monday, the United Nations co-hosted a conference in Geneva to encourage the international community to help Pakistan raise $16 billion to fund relief and reconstruction efforts. Nearly $10 billion was pledged at the conference, where UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged radical reform of the global financial system to help Pakistan cope with the devastations caused by the deadly floods.
At the State Department briefing, the spokesman also underscored the need to support efforts to rebuild a climate-resilient Pakistan.
“We want to be a partner. We will continue to be a partner to Pakistan when it comes to all of their priorities, whether it’s security, whether it’s economic in this case, or humanitarian in the case of the provision of the additional funding for the flood relief,” the spokesman stated. “Our flood-related assistance complements our broader efforts to form a US-Pakistan Green Alliance that looks at the range of climate and resilience issues central to Pakistan’s reconstruction,” Ned Price said.
Ned Price pointed out that since 2022’s devastating floods, the US government worked closely with Pakistan to provide funding assistance for flood response, food security, disaster preparedness, and capacity-building efforts. The additional $100 million in funding would be used for flood protection and governance, disease surveillance, economic growth and clean energy, climate-smart agriculture, food security, and infrastructure reconstruction.
“Pakistan’s recovery and reconstruction will be a continuing process in the months and years ahead, and we will continue to support Pakistan in its efforts to build a more climate-resilient future for its people,” he said.
A UN report noted that more than 33 million people were affected by the flooding in Sindh and Balochistan, which is widely regarded to be Pakistan’s greatest climate disaster. Even today, the floodwaters have only partly receded, and the disaster is far from over for some eight million who were forced to flee the floods.