Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Masood Khan has said that timely and generous US assistance for flood affectees in Pakistan reflects the deep bonds between the two countries.
Referring to the floods in Pakistan, the Ambassador said,
It is a deluge of epic proportions. We are scrambling not only to save lives but also to alleviate miseries of millions of people who are enduring trauma of climate carnage. We have mobilized all our resources. However, the scale of calamity is beyond the capacity of any government to deal with singlehandedly. The process of rehabilitation and reconstruction would take months and years to be completed.
The Ambassador was talking to a high level US delegation comprising representatives from US State Department, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Center for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Thanking the US government, Congress, corporate sector, humanitarian and philanthropic organizations for their timely response, the Ambassador reiterated his call for continued support of friends and international community especially during rehabilitation and reconstruction stages.
The Ambassador also thanked the delegation for their critical support in making recently held Pak-US Health Dialogue a success.
“We have several Pak-US processes moving forward but the fastest track has been of health partnership,” noted the Ambassador.
He said that the Pakistan-US Health Dialogue has paved the way for broader engagement on trade and investment, climate change, energy agriculture, science and technology and the tech sector.
Masood Khan said that Pakistan had a huge potential in the health sector. He highlighted pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, telemedicine and medical transcriptions and billing as the major areas where the two countries could scale up their mutual collaboration.
Dr. Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at USAID speaking on the occasion expressed condolences to the people of Pakistan over the floods.
Sharing his experience of a calamity of a similar nature, he expressed his concerns about the looming food security issues, spread of polio and other waterborne diseases, breakdown in the availability of clean water and the difficulties that the people would be facing during rebuilding their lives.
“Rebuilding everything won’t happen at once. This is going to be months and years of work ahead,” Dr. Gawande remarked.
“We are delighted to have made the commitment that we made so far while also knowing that this is just a drop. We all need to come together to enable Pakistan to rise to its feet.”
Dr. Atul Gawande assured the Ambassador of continued support of USAID at this difficult time and also towards strengthening healthcare systems of Pakistan.