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Holbrooke to visit Pakistan this week

world Updated: Sep 14, 2010 11:58 IST

US Special Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke will visit Pakistan this week to get a first-hand assessment of the flood relief operations in the country, where more than 20 million people have been affected by the worst-ever floods.

During his trip, Holbrooke would visit camps, where the displaced people are lodged, and see for himself the situation there.

He will assess "what the most critical needs on the ground are as the US begins to help Pakistan with the transition from immediate relief to recovery and reconstruction," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

He said the central focus of Holbrooke's trip will be to find how America needs to adapt its approach to Pakistan and support it in light of this "devastating disaster."

This will be Holbrooke's first trip to the region after the devastating flood hit Pakistan and the Special Envoy has no plans to visit Afghanistan this time, he said.

The United States so far has provided $261 million to assist with relief and recovery efforts, which does not include considerable in-kind and technical assistance specifically to address the impact of these floods.

This includes approximately $211 million to support immediate relief efforts in Pakistan, through many local and international organisations, the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority, and the UN’s emergency response plan.

An additional $50 million has also been alloted for initial recovery efforts to assist with rebuilding communities impacted by the floods.

The US also has provided civilian and military in-kind assistance in the form of halal meals, pre-fabricated steel bridges and other infrastructure support, as well as air support to and within Pakistan to transport goods and rescue people at an approximate value of $40 million.

To date, these aircraft have evacuated more than 13,000 people and delivered 5.4 million pounds of relief supplies.

The US is also expanding pre-existing programs in flood-affected areas.

At the same time, US military C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft continue to provide airlift support to Pakistan, delivering relief supplies to multiple locations throughout the country, including Skardu, Sukkur, Quetta, Jacobabad, Sharea Faisal and Gilgit.