Submitted by Ryan Cherlin

A tragedy of epic proportions, the floods in Pakistan have already affected more than 12 million people. Rain continues to fall, water levels are still rising, and the country’s dams are already operating at high capacity. An estimated 1,500 have perished, millions are left vulnerable without access to healthcare, and more than 650,000 homes were washed away by flash floods leaving billions of dollars of damage in its wake.  USAID/Pakistan immediately responded to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority’s call for help to provide much needed assistance to flood victims.

USAID mobilized its Disaster Assistance Response Team to provide rescue boats, water filtration systems, food, and shelter. Each day, our efforts are providing 60,000 people with clean drinking water, 20,000 people with food, and over 65,000 people with shelter. Recently, USAID announced an additional $20 million for flood relief efforts, bringing the Agency’s total contribution to $55 million—a figure which is sure to grow as the tragedy unfolds.

In Pakistan, disaster and despair have given rise to great humanity. The American people have a history of responding generously to the people of Pakistan in times of need. In 2005 when the devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan, USAID was there.  In 2009 when conflict erupted in Pakistan’s FATA region, USAID provided relief to internally displaced persons. In early August when the monsoon rains began to fall and the flood waters began to surge, USAID responded. And even long after the flood waters recede—USAID will be here to rebuild what was lost.

Working with mGive, Americans are contributing to Pakistan flood relief by texting the word “SWAT” to 50555. The text will result in a donation of $10 to the UNHCR Pakistan Flood Relief Effort. Every $10 helps provide tents and emergency aid to displaced families.