The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, has given 36 vehicles to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Department of Health as part of the American government’s support for Pakistan to mitigate the pandemic and help rapid response teams collect COVID-19 samples and monitor cases.
The Ambassador visited Peshawar on 3 and 4 August and called upon Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to highlight the US government’s extensive economic and development assistance, which has benefited the residents of the province over the last 75 years of bilateral relations. Blome emphasized that the US wishes to continue cooperation on economic development, commerce, educational partnerships, and investments that have helped KP.
The Ambassador also visited the Torkham border crossing to witness how the border contributes to trade and economic activities in KP. This included viewing the 46 km Peshawar-Torkham Road — an $87 million US government construction project that has halved the cost of traveling and vehicle maintenance while facilitating commuters and traders every day.
The vehicle donation follows a recent announcement made in Washington DC for the donation of 16 million pediatric COVID-19 vaccination doses to Pakistan, which will bring the total US donations to over 77 million.
Ambassador Blome also visited the US government-funded Burns and Plastic Surgery Center in Peshawar. The cutting-edge health facility was constructed and equipped through $15 million in USAID funding. The center is the largest of its kind in Pakistan and has treated more than 5,000 patients since it was opened in 2019.
While touring the state-of-the-art U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy at the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar, Ambassador Blome stated, “It is an honor to be here today to see the Center; learn more about the great work that you are doing here. As the United States and Pakistan commemorate our 75-year relationship this year, this facility symbolizes our shared vision and our enormous accomplishments.”
The American government collaborated with engineering universities across Pakistan under USAID’s $127 million partnership to establish centers like this for advanced learning in the areas of water, energy, and food security.
During Ambassador Blome’s visit, the US Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Director, Lori Antolinez, participated in an inauguration ceremony for the KP Prosecution Academy that was funded by the US government. She mentioned that the $2 million academy would annually train 200 prosecutors.
Since 1989, the US government has provided KP $300 million through the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement to promote economic and agricultural development, strengthen the justice system, and help promote security and stability. This included building 1,240 km of roads in the province to help farmers and businesses get goods to markets, completing 1,300 projects to provide drinking water and irrigation, and building 420 different law enforcement facilities, including local police stations.