US State Dept shares reason for reduction in aid for flood relief in Pakistan

US State Department Counselor Derek Chollet speaks while attending a briefing with the Romanian press in Bucharest, Romania, February 9, 2022. — Reuters 
  • Chollet says reason for cut in US aid wasn’t Pakistan-US relations.
  • Says things were radically different in 2010 in terms of resources.
  • Says economic hardship is almost everywhere in world.

US State Department Counsellor Derek Chollet has said that the reason for the reduction in US aid for flood relief in Pakistan as compared to the 2010 floods is a lack of resources instead of the bilateral relations between the two countries, The News reported, citing the official’s conversation with BBC.

Chollet said that things were radically different in 2010 in terms of resources.

“At the time, the US Congress had allocated billions of dollars for the welfare of the people in Pakistan in recognition of the efforts made in the context of the Afghan war. But we don’t have those resources now,” he explained.

The Afghan war was at its peak in 2010 and the United States considered Pakistan its closest ally, but their relations have fluctuated over the past 12 years. Last year, US-led NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan, which led to the formation of the Taliban government there.

Derek Chollet visited Pakistan earlier this month and assured Pakistani officials of providing $5 million in aid to people affected by floods. Besides, he also attended events to mark the completion of 75 years of Pak-US relations.

According to Derek Chollet, the reason for the apparent reduction in aid is not coldness in relations, but the global economic crisis and the Ukrainian war. “Economic hardship is almost everywhere in the world and Europe is currently undergoing its greatest human tragedy after the Ukrainian war. The European Union has already spent most of its resources this year, but we need to understand that it can take several months to rehabilitate flood victims in Pakistan. That’s why we need to be ready for aid,” he added.

He said the UN Secretary-General was also in Pakistan during his presence and he had also made it clear that more assistance would be provided. “In the coming days, the World Bank will present its analysis of the floods in Pakistan, which will indicate what Pakistan especially needed,” he explained.

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