Statement by Ambassador Rick Barton, U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, at the Launch of the Revised Pakistan Flood Response Plan

Ambassador Rick Barton
U.S. Representative for Economic and Social Affairs 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 17, 2010




AS DELIVERED

Thank you Secretary General Ban, Under-Secretary-General Amos, and Ambassador Haroon. And thank you for your briefings, your leadership, and for the way that we are going about responding to this tragic situation in Pakistan.

We are all familiar with what is happening in Pakistan, the information presented today is nonetheless staggering. It is clear from assessments undertaken by the government of Pakistan and the United Nations that the impact of the flooding, which has swept away more than 1,700 lives and millions of livelihoods and homes, will continue to affect over 20 million Pakistanis for years to come. Water continues to inundate villages in the south, while receding water in the north continues to reveal massive early recovery and reconstruction requirements. As we move from relief into the early recovery and then reconstruction, we must take this opportunity not only to enhance our efforts to provide timely humanitarian assistance, but also to help Pakistan build back better to prevent tragedies of this magnitude from recurring in the future. This will be costly and difficult in the short run, but in the long run, it will save lives and money.

When the disaster began two months ago, the United States joined a host of other nations in responding immediately and generously to the needs of the people of Pakistan. To date, the U.S. has provided approximately $268 million to address urgent humanitarian requirements and to support early recovery activities. Secretary Clinton has pledged our continued support to Pakistan, and I would like to reinforce that message. We will carefully review the revised Pakistan flood response plan launched here today and will continue to work closely with the government of Pakistan, the United Nations, and other international organizations and NGO partners to support flood-affected communities.

The United States urges all Member States to redouble their efforts to support UN agencies who are working to confront the severe challenges caused by the floods and to see Pakistan through the many stages of this disaster.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.

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PRN: 2010/185