From Sajjad Hussain – Islamabad : The US today said it will grant an additional USD 9.3 million aid to Pakistan to meet the health and livelihood needs of over a million internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan where a major military operation is underway against Taliban.
The funds will be provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US embassy said in a statement.
The US government will provide USD 7 million to UNICEF to improve health, hygiene, water and sanitation services of IDPs with the remaining funds used for the health of livestock.
US ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson said the US stood ready to help Pakistan prepare for and respond to the considerable humanitarian needs emerging in the tribal areas.
“Our additional USD 9.3 million contribution reiterates the importance of the partnership between the Government of Pakistan, development organisations, and the United States,” he said.
The new funding brings the total US contribution benefiting IDPs to USD 17.3 million.
Earlier, the US had announced USD 8 million in food assistance for IDPs on June 26, 2014.
The US has a long history of working together with the people of Pakistan to provide humanitarian assistance.
From October 2013 to July 2014, USAID has provided over USD 60 million in food assistance to Pakistan.
Since 2009, the US has provided over USD 1.4 billion in assistance to the people of Pakistan, making it the largest bilateral provider of humanitarian support to the country.
Pakistan launched its much-awaited military operation against foreign and local militants hiding in sanctuaries near the Afghan border on June 15 last month, a week after the Pakistani Taliban had brazenly attacked the Karachi airport that left 37 people dead.